July 21, 2022

Paolo Vignola – Notes on the Extractivist Image of Thought

Part of the seminar series Thinking the Future: Conversations on Technology, Subjectivity and Ethics

NB: due to a technical glitch, the first few minutes of this talk were not recorded.

The era in which we live is characterized by an unprecedented wave of extractive activities. From traditional extractivisms, related to subsoil resources, to the massive use of data mining, extending even to the extractivism of attention, emotions and dopamine in online activities (dopa mining), it seems possible to find a pan-extractivist thought that structures the western forma mentis and a whole series of narratives linked to it. Everything can now be extracted, by and for the current political economy, up to the point that Artificial Intelligence should be called Extracted Intelligence, because of the systematic dependence of AI on the activities of data mining and capture technologies. In this vein, by recalling the concept of Noology, forged by Deleuze and Guattari in A Thousand Plateaus, as the historical and societal image of thought that shapes the way of thinking of citizens at all scales of life, it is possible to detect a particular concretization of this image, one that converges in a kind of “extractivist image of thought”, that is to say, an anthropic way of living, thinking and producing information that circulates unconsciously everywhere. This talk, then, aims to develop a radical critique of such an image that implies not only the unveiling of the epistemic and ontological assumptions on which it is based, but also a reconfiguration of all the conceptual sets that have allowed for the establishment of such a vision.

Paolo Vignola teaches Esthetics, Literature and New Technologies, and Literary Theory at the Universidad de las Artes of Guayaquil in Ecuador. He is also Professor of Contemporary Philosophy for the Masters in Philosophy of Azuay University (Ecuador), and adjunct lecturer at the Technological University of Dublin. He is a scholar of French philosophy, esthetics, political ecology, and philosophy of technology and co-founder of the international journal La Deleuziana.