The Producer as A Power User
As the permanent exchange between sender and receiver, between server and client, has become the primary source of digital productivity, the power user has to integrate them in her ego design process.
Constructed as a leaking container of commercial cultural content, peer-to-peer networks become sources of ‘shared identity’. Driven by their hunter-gatherer instincts, power users cannot get enough of free content; they are liberal enough to traverse different levels of resistant production, and reprocess minority politics and psychosocial deliquency as ‘hybrid identities’, which are generously hosted by the system for the sake of diversity and innovation. From the other side, jurisdiction and commerce reestablishes the order of individual rights and their restrictions.
Power users are the organic intellectuals who work between the frontlines on social implementations of upcoming standards, and expand and test their acceptability. They also socially develop new work disciplines, job models, and cultural killer applications. The model of legitimation of the double bind of this emerging hacker class is symptomatic for the rest of society. In order to modulate and redirect power relations, the power user has to legitimate her access to power as a critical one.
By refering to the forces of technical revolution and the crisis it leads to, she is betting on tactical reformism as an opportunity for individual freedom. At the centre of this double bind between technology and capitalism stands the relation to property and authorship, in which the power user works both on her own dissolvement as well as re-establishment.