Current projects:

Labour against the machine. A study of the material condistions of digital labour in e-commerce warehouses. Think Amazon, Zalando, H&M, IKEA and the like–what happens behind the click when you purchase a commodity online? I am analysing the technologies used to work, such as barcode scanners, robots, and system algorithms, and how they intersect with emerging cycles of struggle in the logistics sector.

Amazon robots and the future of work. Which values and interests are incorporated in the design of automated and robotic technologies used in Amazon warehouses? Regardless of utopias of a post-work society and dystopias about mass unemployment, automation seems to be used to control, intensify and deskill human labour rather than replacing it. Perhaps robots won’t steal our jobs after all.

Log out! Worker resistance within and against the platform economy. How do workers struggle against digital capitalism? In this research I aim at showing the central role of worker struggle, sabotage and resistance in any project of future liberation, and in relation to technological evolution. I am the lead convener of a McLuhan Centre working group on this topic, and the organiser of a conference that was held in March 2018.

Things I might or might not do in the future:

Detecting democracy. With free software and Wikipedia, particle physics may be the third example of global massive collaboration around authorship. Hundreds of physicists are members of collaborations that collectively run a detector or experiment. Their decision-making processes include both opaque hierarchies based on kinship relations, and detailed rules for participation and dissent inscribed in their constitutions. Can they help us understand contemporary democratic forms?

You’re deactivated. Dismissal through disconnection from the company’s app represents the most brutal side of the disciplinary power of digital labour technologies. The technical ability to “deactivate” a worker is the result of deeper political and legal transformations which enable digital capitalism to tap into an increasingly precarious workforce. What is the political significance of the technical fluidity of  platform labour?