UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media

Department of Film & Media UC Berkeley

Courses / Graduate

Fall 2018

240-001 | CCN: 32356

Politics of Code

Jacob Gaboury,

4 Units

W 4:00-7:00pm, Dwinelle 226

This course begins with the twin propositions that all technology is inherently political, and that digital technologies have come to define our contemporary media landscape. Software, hardware, and code shape the practices and discourses of our digital culture, such that in order to understand the present we must take seriously the politics of the digital. Beginning with an overview of cybernetics, information theory, systems theory, and distributed communications networks, the course will primarily focus on the politics and theory of the past twenty years, from the utopian discourses of the early web to the rise of immaterial labor economies and the quantification and management of subjects and populations. The course will be structured around close readings of specific technologies such as distributed networks, programming languages, and digital software platforms in an effort to ground critical theory with digital practice. Our ultimate goal will be to identify a political theory of the present age - one that takes seriously the role of computation and digitization.