Control Societies Speaker Series: Denise Ferreira da Silva, "A Story of Us"

Control Societies: Denise Ferreira da Silva, "A Story of Us"

In this talk, given on January 19, 2021 at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Professor and Director of The Social Justice Institute at the University of British Columbia, experiments with an account of the ethical and aesthetical dimensions of electronically-mediated existence. Such an existence increasingly seems fully permeated by and thoroughly configured through the apparatuses that enable global capital to profit from the extraction of attention. In this reading of episodes of the acclaimed British series Black Mirror, she exposes and comments on how, in this global moment, raciality facilitates capital accumulation both economically and ethically, working through the figures of humanity and subjectivity as these play in the series’ dystopian tales. More specifically, although the tales themselves are the focus of the reading, the main move in this exercise is to activate blackness’s capacity to unravel the modern ethical grammar. Ferreira da Silva argues that this move enables the drawing of a transversal line across the various parts that constitutes the apparatus of extraction of affect, so prevalent in today’s global existence, thereby exposing how coloniality and raciality govern the global present.