Vinyl won’t save us: reframing disconnection as engagement
journal contributionposted on 03.03.2020, 16:02 by Simone Natale, Emiliano Treré
Disconnection has recently come to the forefront of public discussions as an antidote to an increasing saturation with digital technologies. Yet experiences with disconnection are often reduced to a form of disengagement that diminishes their political impact. Disconnective practices focused on health and well-being are easily appropriated by big tech corporations, defusing their transformative potential into the very dynamics of digital capitalism. In contrast, a long tradition of critical thought, from Joseph Weizenbaum to Jaron Lanier passing through hacktivism, demonstrates that engagement with digital technologies is instrumental to develop critique and resistance against the paradoxes of digital societies. Drawing from this tradition, this article proposes the concept of “Disconnection-through-Engagement” to illuminate situated practices that mobilize disconnection in order to improve critical engagement with digital technologies and platforms. Hybridity, anonymity, and hacking are examined as three forms of Disconnection-through-Engagement, and a call to decommodify disconnection and recast it as a source of collective critique to digital capitalism is put forward.
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies