Matteo Pasquinelli is a writer, curator and researcher. He completed his doctorate at Queen Mary University of London with a thesis on the new forms of conflict within knowledge economy and cognitive capitalism. He wrote the book Animal Spirits: A Bestiary of the Commons (2008) and edited the collections Media Activism (2002) and C’Lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader (2007). He writes and lectures frequently at the intersection of French philosophy, media culture and Italian post-operaismo.

He is a member of the international collectives Uninomade and Edufactory and also of the jury of Transmediale 2011 festival in Berlin. In Amsterdam, together with Katrien Jacobs and the Institute of Network Cultures, he organised the Art and Politics of Netporn conference (2005) and the C’Lick Me festival (2007). At Queen Mary University of London he co-organised the series of seminars The Art of Rent and the research network The Factory of the Common (2008-2009). From 2000 to 2009 he has been editor of the mailing list Rekombinant.

Together with Wietske Maas he developed the art project Urbanibalism. His current project is a book about the history of the notion of surplus across biology, psychoanalysis, knowledge economy and the environmental discourse. He lives and works between Amsterdam and Berlin.

Abstract :

At the twilight of the society of the spectacle, a dense material economy is discovered at the core of cultural production. Debord’s controversial aphorism can finally be reversed: “The capital is spectacle to such a degree of accumulation that it becomes a skyline of cement”. After decades of parallel evolution, two strata of recent history have converged in a unique dispositif: the urban revolution (as Lefebvre described the city in the 1960s, a motor of autonomous production and capital accumulation) and the cultural industry (as the Frankfurt school inaugurated the transformation of culture in business and ‘deception’). The name of this newborn chimera is ‘creative cities’ — an asymmetrical chimera, as the mask of culture is used to cover the hydra of concrete and real-estate speculation. The chimera of cultural cities is a complex machine, no longer based on the opposition between high and low culture that was central to the Frankfurt School canon of the culture industry.