Tiziana Terranova

Last updated
Tiziana Terranova
Congreso Futuro - 2019-01-15 - 08.jpg
(Trapani, Sicily, Italy)
Occupation(s)Theorist, activist, faculty of the University of Naples [1] [2]

Tiziana Terranova (Trapani-Sicily, 1967) is an Italian theorist and activist whose work focuses on the effects of information technology on society through concepts such as digital labor and commons. [3] [4] Terranova has published the monograph Network Culture. Politics for the Information Age, [5] as well as a more extensive number of essays and speeches, and appeared as a keynote speaker in several conferences. She lectures on the digital media cultures and politics in the Department of Human and Social Sciences, at the University of Naples, 'L'Orientale'.



Perhaps the best known part of Terranova's work is her thesis, formulated in the early 2000s, [6] that the free labor of users is the source of economic value in the digital economy. [7] Free labor as a concept is rooted in Italian post-workerist and autonomist labor theories of value, such as Paolo Virno's re-reading of Marx's notion of the general intellect, Antonio Negri's theory of the social factory, and Maurizio Lazzarato's concept of immaterial labor. Free labor is free both in the sense that the laborers provide it voluntarily and in the sense that they are not remunerated by the beneficiaries of the labor (such as social media companies). As such, free labor is only the most extreme form of social labor receiving very little or no monetary compensation. For instance, Terranova describes the university as a 'diffuse factory': 'an open system opening onto the larger field of casualised and underpaid 'socialised labour power'.' [8] She has argued against Benjamin H. Bratton's concept of the stack as a model of planetary computation. [9] Terranova has also argued that non-hierarchical, open access, free association, and non-monetary P2P networks may provide a post-capitalist social and economic infrastructure.

Bibliography (selected)


Essays and speeches

See also

Related Research Articles

An information society is a society where the usage, creation, distribution, manipulation and integration of information is a significant activity. Its main drivers are information and communication technologies, which have resulted in rapid growth of a variety of forms of information. Proponents of this theory posit that these technologies are impacting most important forms of social organization, including education, economy, health, government, warfare, and levels of democracy. The people who are able to partake in this form of society are sometimes called either computer users or even digital citizens, defined by K. Mossberger as “Those who use the Internet regularly and effectively”. This is one of many dozen internet terms that have been identified to suggest that humans are entering a new and different phase of society.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antonio Negri</span> Italian sociologist and political philosopher

Antonio "Toni" Negri is an Italian Spinozistic-Marxist sociologist and political philosopher, best known for his co-authorship of Empire and secondarily for his work on Spinoza. Born in Padua, he became a political philosophy professor in his hometown university. Negri founded the Potere Operaio group in 1969 and was a leading member of Autonomia Operaia. As one of the most popular theorists of autonomism, he has published hugely influential books urging "revolutionary consciousness".

Post-Fordism is a term used to describe the growth of new production methods defined by flexible production, the individualization of labor relations and fragmentation of markets into distinct segments, after the demise of Fordist production. It was widely advocated by French Marxist economists and American labor economists in the 1970s and 1980s. Definitions of the nature and scope of post-Fordism vary considerably and are a matter of debate among scholars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Michael Hardt</span> American philosopher

Michael Hardt is an American political philosopher and literary theorist. Hardt is best known for his book Empire, which was co-written with Antonio Negri.

Multitude is a term for a group of people who cannot be classed under any other distinct category, except for their shared fact of existence. Though its use dates back to antiquity, the term first entered into the lexicon of political philosophy when it was used by figures like Machiavelli, Hobbes, and most notably, Spinoza. The multitude is a concept of a population that has not entered into a social contract with a sovereign political body, such that individuals retain the capacity for political self-determination. A multitude typically is classified as a quantity exceeding 100. For Hobbes the multitude was a rabble that needed to enact a social contract with a monarch, thus turning them from a multitude into a people. For Machiavelli and Spinoza both, the role of the multitude vacillates between admiration and contempt. Recently the term has returned to prominence as a new model of resistance against global systems of power as described by political theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri in their international best-seller Empire (2000) and expanded upon in their Multitude: War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004). Other theorists recently began to use the term include political thinkers associated with autonomist Marxism and its sequelae, including Sylvère Lotringer, Paolo Virno, and thinkers connected with the eponymous review Multitudes.

Social peer-to-peer processes are interactions with a peer-to-peer dynamic. These peers can be humans or computers. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is a term that originated from the popular concept of the P2P distributed computer application architecture which partitions tasks or workloads between peers. This application structure was popularized by file sharing systems like Napster, the first of its kind in the late 1990s.

Autonomism, also known as autonomist Marxism, is an anti-capitalist left-wing political and social movement and theory. As a theoretical system, it first emerged in Italy in the 1960s from workerism. Later, post-Marxist and anarchist tendencies became significant after influence from the Situationists, the failure of Italian far-left movements in the 1970s, and the emergence of a number of important theorists including Antonio Negri, who had contributed to the 1969 founding of Potere Operaio as well as Mario Tronti, Paolo Virno and Franco "Bifo" Berardi.

Affective labor is work carried out that is intended to produce or modify emotional experiences in people. This is in contrast to emotional labor, which is intended to produce or modify one's own emotional experiences. Coming out of Autonomist feminist critiques of marginalized and so-called "invisible" labor, it has been the focus of critical discussions by, e.g., Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Juan Martin Prada, and Michael Betancourt.

BioArt is an art practice where artists work with biology, live tissues, bacteria, living organisms, and life processes. Using scientific processes and practices such as biology and life science practices, microscopy, and biotechnology the artworks are produced in laboratories, galleries, or artists' studios. The scope of BioArt is a range considered by some artists to be strictly limited to "living forms", while other artists include art that uses the imagery of contemporary medicine and biological research, or require that it address a controversy or blind spot posed by the very character of the life sciences.

The following is a list of terms specific to anarchists. Anarchism is a political and social movement which advocates voluntary association in opposition to authoritarianism and hierarchy.

Paolo Virno is an Italian philosopher, semiologist and a figurehead for the Italian Marxist movement. Implicated in belonging to illegal social movements during the 1960s and 1970s, Virno was arrested and jailed in 1979, accused of belonging to the Red Brigades. He spent several years in prison before finally being acquitted, after which he organized the publication Luogo Comune in order to vocalize the political ideas he developed during his imprisonment. Virno currently teaches philosophy at the University of Rome.

Jonathan Beller is a film theorist, culture critic and mediologist. He currently holds the position of Professor of Humanities and Media Studies and Critical and Visual Studies, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including Mellon, J.P. Getty and Fulbright Foundation grants and honors.

Accelerationism is a range of ideas in revolutionary and reactionary ideas in left and right-wing ideology—that call for the drastic intensification of capitalist growth, technological change, infrastructure sabotage and other processes of social change to destabilize existing systems and create radical social transformations, otherwise referred to as "acceleration". It has been regarded as an ideological spectrum divided into mutually contradictory left-wing and right-wing variants, both of which support the indefinite intensification of capitalism and its structures as well as the conditions for a technological singularity, a hypothetical point in time where technological growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible.

Ed Emery is an ethnomusicologist, writer, translator and political activist. In the 1970s, he was involved in political activist group Big Flame, and was one of the early organisers of the UK-based Ford Workers' Group. In 1976, he founded radical publisher Red Notes. He has translated key works by Italian playwright Dario Fo and political theorist Antonio Negri. As a writer, he has regularly contributed to Le Monde diplomatique and co-authored two plays with Richard Fredman, Les Juifs de Salonique and The Night Before Larry Was Stretched. In 2015, for services rendered in the left political movement, he was elected Honorary Member for life of the SOAS Student Union.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Maurizio Lazzarato</span> French sociologist and philosopher

Maurizio Lazzarato is an Italian sociologist and philosopher, residing in Paris, France. In the 1970s, he was an activist in the workers' movement in Italy. Lazzarato was a founding member of the editorial board of the journal Multitudes. He is a researcher at Matisse/CNRS, Pantheon-Sorbonne University, and a member of the International College of Philosophy in Paris.

Digital labor or digital labour represents an emergent forms of labor characterized by the production of value through interaction with information and communication technologies such as digital platforms or artificial intelligence. The examples of digital labor include on-demand platforms, micro-working and user generated data for digital platforms such as social media. Digital labor describes work that encompasses a variety of online tasks. If a country has the structure to maintain a digital economy, digital labor can generate income for individuals without the limitations of physical barriers.

Immaterial labor is a Marxist framework to describe how value is produced from affective and cognitive activities, which, in various ways, are commodified in capitalist economies. The concept of immaterial labor was coined by Italian sociologist and philosopher Maurizio Lazzarato in his 1996 essay "Immaterial Labor", published as a contribution to Radical Thought in Italy and edited by Virno and Hardt. It was re-published in 1997 as: Lavoro immateriale. Forme di vita e produzione di soggettività.. Lazzarato was a participant in the Years of Lead (Italy) group as a student in Padua in the 1970s, and is a member of the editorial group of the journal Multitudes. Post-Marxist scholars including Franco Berardi, Antonio Negri, Michael Hardt, Judith Revel, and Paolo Virno, among others have also employed the concept.

A platform cooperative, or platform co-op, is a cooperatively owned, democratically governed business that establishes a computing platform, and uses a website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services. Platform cooperatives are an alternative to venture capital-funded platforms insofar as they are owned and governed by those who depend on them most—workers, users, and other relevant stakeholders.

Network Culture. Politics for the Information Age is a 2004 book by Italian scholar Tiziana Terranova, focusing on the effects of information technology on society.

The stack is a term used in science and technology studies, the philosophy of technology and media studies to describe the multiple interconnected layers that computation depends on at a planetary scale. The term was introduced by Benjamin H. Bratton in a 2014 essay and expanded upon in his 2016 book, and has been adapted, critiqued and expanded upon by numerous other scholars.


  1. (in Italian) Tiziana Terranova on docenti2.unior.it
  2. Tiziana Terranova on edueda.net
  3. "Interview with Celia Lury, Luciana Parisi and Tiziana Terranova on Topologies". Theoryculturesociety.org. 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  4. "Terranova Tiziana - EduEDA - The EDUcational Encyclopedia of Digital Arts" (in Italian). EduEDA.net. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  5. Terranova, Tiziana (June 2004). Network Culture: Politics For the Information Age: Tiziana Terranova: 9780745317489: Amazon.com: Books . ISBN   0745317480.
  6. "Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy". Electronicbookreview.com. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  7. "Tiziana Terranova". P2pfoundation.net. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  8. "Recomposing the University | Mute". Metamute.org. 1999-02-22. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
  9. 1 2 Terranova, Tiziana (2014). "Red Stack Attack! Algorithms, Capital and the Automation of the Common". In Mackay, Robin; Avanessian, Armen (eds.). #accelerate#: The Accelerationist Reader. Falmouth: Urbanomic. pp. 379–399. ISBN   978-0-9575295-5-7 via Academia.edu .
  10. Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy (MIT website)
  11. Terranova, Tiziana (2000). "Free Labor: Producing Culture for the Digital Economy". Social Text. 18 (2): 33–58. doi:10.1215/01642472-18-2_63-33.
  12. Failure to comply. Bioart, security and the market (EIT website)
  13. Netwar 2.0: the convergence of streets and networks (Le Monde diplomatique website)
  14. Attention, Economy and the Brain (Culture Machine website)
  15. Keynote: Capture All Work on YouTube