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Date & Time

Wednesday, July 1, 2020
6:00 PM

Location

Seminary Co-op Bookstore

Admission

Free and open to the public

Contact

Seminary Co-op Bookstore
(773) 752-4381
events@semcoop.com

Description

“What Susan Sontag did for photography, what Christopher Lasch did for the culture of narcissism, Richard Seymour has done for social media. I read it with a sense of recognition, and alarm.”––Adam Shatz, contributing editor at the London Review of Books

Richard Seymour discusses "The Twittering Machine." A Q&A and signing will follow the discussion.

At the Co-op

About the book: A brilliant probe into the political and psychological effects of our changing relationship with social media.

In surrealist artist Paul Klee’s "The Twittering Machine," the bird-song of a diabolical machine acts as bait to lure humankind into a pit of damnation. Leading political writer and broadcaster Richard Seymour argues that this is a chilling metaphor for our relationship with social media.

Former social media executives tell us that the system is an addiction-machine. We are users, waiting for our next hit as we like, comment and share. We write to the machine as individuals, but it responds by aggregating our fantasies, desires and frailties into data, and returning them to us as a commodity experience. Through journalism, psychoanalytic reflection and insights from users, developers, security experts and others, Seymour probes the human side of the machine, asking what we're getting out of it, and what we're getting into.

This is a story about desire and violence, as well as writing. It is also a story about what we might be writing ourselves into, culturally and politically. This book is an attempt, as much as anything else, to work out a new language for thinking about what is coming into being.

About the author: Richard Seymour is a writer, broadcaster, and socialist, currently based in London. He writes regularly for The Guardian, the London Review of Books, Jacobin and many other publications.