The iPhone 3G, this innocuous and already slightly outmoded little cluster of minerals and marketing, is an emblematic meeting point for the material and symbolic processes shaping the contemporary entanglement of social and geologic stratifications: both product and engine of the great cleavages of the global economy, those geopolitical fractures that Marxist critics refer to with euphemistic kid gloves as “uneven development;” a treasured possession bound up with resource wars and environmentally destructive extraction practices driven by a rapacious global system of neo-colonial corporate-feudalism; the consumer excretion of a world where exhausted Chinese factory workers are driven to suicide satisfying the herd instincts of those queuing around the block of landmark retail spaces, to be the first to dissect the latest cosmetic innovations in the myopic navel of the Yelposphere; a Trojan horse for the ever increasing marketization of all areas of life and a key instrument in the ongoing erosion of the distinction between work and everything else; a vital tracking device in the fiction that endlessly curating one’s life as a surveillance-ready editorial spread will bear fruit in coherent self realization rather than exponential alienation, no matter how many tinting apps are used to create a trompe l’oeil of “authentic experience.”

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site. Read our privacy policy to learn more. Accept

Join Our Mailing List