The Producer as A Power User
At the forefront of the still ongoing cybernetic modernisation, the power user serves as an unpaid research and development unit, as a mediator to popular media culture, and a sensitive prototype of sociotechnical exploration.
In many cases the power user is self-trained, almost making a living out of her skills, beyond productivity in an industrial sense, without being responsible for a speci.c product or task.
She is primarily dedicated to her own individualisation, the customisation of the extended self in relation to other power users, in the form of an ongoing system con.guration. Usually not too much involved as a developer, the power user actively contributes to the deployment of software tools by finding new uses for them, or documenting errors, and therefore inscribing herself into the collective process. She lives on the back end and insides of cybernetic circuitry, and constantly con.gures and expands it as essential parts of the household.
On behalf of technological determinism, it is easy to think it’s cool to be a power user, but there is a price to pay: unique authorship dissolves in the technical reproduction of subjectivity, into a set of management strategies. Entering a new era of industrialisation, the craftmanship of the digital artisan makes space for the customisation skills of the power user, within a
more and more standardised and modularised corporate information service environment.