The attention economy is a notion that explains the growing value of human attention in societies characterised by post-industrial modes of production. In a world in which information and knowledge become central to the valorisation process of capital, human attention becomes a scarce and hence increasingly valuable commodity.
To what degree is the attention economy a specific form of capitalist production? How does the attention economy differ from the industrial mode of production in which Marx developed his critique of capitalism? How can Marx’s theory be used today despite the historical differences that separate industrial from post-industrial capitalism?
The Attention Economy argues that human attention is a new form of labour that can only be understood through a systematic reinterpretation of Marx. It argues that the attention economy belongs to a general shift in capitalism in which subjectivity itself becomes the territory of production and exploitation of value as well as the territory of the reproduction of capitalist power relations.
Acknowledgements / Abbreviations / Introduction / 1. Labour / 2. Value / 3. Time / 4. Machines / 5. Power / Conclusion / Bibliography / Index
In this insightful and readable book, Claudio Celis develops an immanent critique of the attention economy that draws together work from the best of Italian post-Marxism and poststructuralism in order to demonstrate just how inventive capitalism is at finding new ways of extracting value from human activity and, equally, just how flexible our critical tools must be if we are to expose the continuing contradictions of such exploitation. His piercing analyses of the relationship between labour, value and power culminate in an unparalleled account of how the attention economy traps us in both machinic enslavement and forms of social subjection. For everyone interested in Lazzarato, Berardi, Negri, Stiegler, Deleuze and Guattari this is a must read book.
This research is one of the rare attempts of a further integration between information studies and Marxist political economy. Claudio Celis explores the notion of 'valorising information' as a conceptual tool to unveil the political dimension condensed in each digital bit.
Cognitive capitalism. Affective capitalism. The Information Economy. Are these new and unprecedented conditions? Or are they just the latest disguises of capitalism as usual? Actually, it's a bit of both. In The Attention Economy, Claudio Celis lucidly explores the contours of our 24/7 current mode of production, where information is plentiful, but attention is scarce, and where it becomes increasingly difficult to separate work from play.
Claudio Celis Bueno completed a PhD in Critical and Cultural Theory at Cardiff University, Wales. Currently, he is an associate researcher at Diego Portales University, Chile.