Tiziana Terranova

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Tiziana Terranova is well-known for her thesis that the trend towards free labour in peer production is an illusion, as it has already been incorporated in capitalism.

One of the versions of the original paper is here at http://www.uoc.edu/in3/hermeneia/sala_de_lectura/t_terranova_free_labor.htm

As explained by Johan Soderbergh:

"The shifting of time-consuming tasks from paid employees to unpaid customers when accessing banking services, is one example of enhanced interactivity. Another example would be the 15.000 volunteer maintainers of AOL’s chat-rooms. Or the attempt by the Open Source initiative to co-opt the labour power of free software engineers.These are highpoints in a broader pattern, according to Tiziana Terranova. Free labour has become structural to late capitalist cultural economy. It is therefore totally inadequate to apply the leftist favourite narrative of authentic subcultures that are hijacked by commercialism. Authentic subcultures at this point of time is a delusion, she charges. ‘Independent’ cultural production takes place within a broader capitalist framework which has already anticipated and therefore modified the ‘active consumer’. Interactivity counts to nothing else than intensified exploitation of the audience power of the user/consumer. It is not different to the intensification of exploitation of wage labourers." (http://journal.hyperdrome.net/issues/issue1/soderberg.html )

Tiziana Terranova teaches media studies within the department of Cultural Studies at the University of East London. She has published her research on technological subcultures and science in Italian and English in journals such as New Formations, Science and Culture, Derive e Approdi and the online journal The Difference Engine. She is currently completing a book on post-representational analyses of digitalisation.