115th Annual Conference - Honolulu, Hawaii
Friday, November 10 - Sunday, November 12, 2017

Speeding Up the Line: Visualizations of Labor in Neoliberal Parody, Situational Awareness, and Predictive Analytics

Leslie Lopez, "University of Hawai'i, West O'ahu, Center for Labor Education and Research"

In this presentation, I examine Adolph Reed Jr.'s and Slavoj Žižek's discussions of the films They Live and Idiocracy as works of neoliberal parody examining anti-intellectualism. I then relate the films to snapshots of situational awareness in the automation of war and work, ending with current trends in visualized student/faculty production and workloads using predictive analytics.


This presentation highlights Adolph Reed Jr’s critique of “Idiocracy”, and Slavov Zizek’s critique of “They Live” as commentary on film representations of anti-intellectualism, neoliberal parody, the conflation of popular culture and social media as politics, and relate them to snapshots of situational awareness in the automation of war and work, and then end with contemporary visualization trends of student/faculty workloads in predictive analytics. Both “Idiocracy” and “They Live” depict anti-intellectualism 

These critiques were selected as representative of what Guy Debord describes as “moving away from lived into a representation”. Lucy Suchmman’s human-machine analysis of drones and situation provides an example of addressing what is rendered absent in representations of work enacted by management and mediated by technologies. This perspective and method is applied to contemporary visualizations of potential, knowledge production, and assessment processes within the academy as represented by trends in predictive analytics applied to both students and faculty, and it’s role in the deregulation of agency and experience and pro-business model of education.

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