New Publication: Effort in absence: Technologically mediated aesthetic experiences of the culture industries’ routine workers

Greetings OOW members!

Today we are sharing a new publication from Michael Siciliano.

CITATION: Siciliano, Michael L. 2022. “Effort in absence: Technologically mediated aesthetic experiences of the culture industries’ routine workers.” Ethnographyhttps://doi.org/10.1177/14661381221124514

ABSTRACT:

In this article, I draw upon 20 months of participant observation to compare the labor processes of routine, office staff in the popular music and digital content industries in the U.S. In both cases, workers play a game of disappearing, pursuing immersive experiences in their efforts to be more productive. These pleasurably immersive experiences vis-à-vis technology described by informants bear a similarity to aesthetic experiences typically associated with art objects. Comparing how workers describe their aesthetic experiences, I show how the materiality of technology as well as management mediate workers’ immersion. In doing so, this article extends theories of control over work by highlighting the importance of work’s affective and aesthetic dimensions while also making an empirical contribution by examining the culture industries’ often overlooked, routine workers in conventional and platformized contexts.

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