Sabino Paparella

Seminar with Sabino Paparella “About ‘e-selfing’: from self-branding to Quantified Self”

“Whether is considered under the bad aegis of ‘surveillance capitalism’s’ new-panopticism (Crary, 2013; Zuboff, 2019), or as the ‘organized networks’ affordance (Rossiter, 2006; Lovink/Rossiter, 2011) towards social movements, the political efficiency of new digital media however depends on the transduction of a body-individual physical identity in the Netizen’s digital one. We need a digital identity in order to log in the web. Can it be considered properly a representation of our self? Digital technology seems to imply rather a production of the self, by the sound of things. This production of self set up by the digital dispositif – henceforth ‘e-selfing’ – comes by a search for authenticity of the self. One of the main features of Web 2.0 is the rising need for a digital True Identity, endorsed by the claim of ‘absolute transparency’;. Unlike the geek sub-culture of Web 1.0, which was celebrating multiple identity of self by using alias, avatar, nicknames, the interactive digital turn, implemented first by the blogosphere and then by the social media, involves the definition of an unambiguous and verifiable self, which stays always the same and acts predictably, according to a strategy of ‘narrative hypercoherence’ (Ippolita, 2016). We would suggest here to outline e-selfing in terms of disintermediation. Disintermediation usually means the shortening of the supply chain from a producer to a consumer. But what about a system, like the currently digital one, in which producers and consumers are the same (so-called ‘prosumers’)? Put another way, what if the object of disintermediation is properly Self-access, the access to
one’s digital self? What kind of mediation, or resistance, is dropping out in this case?

We will investigate to what extent the output of disintermediation in some strategies of e-selfing (self-branding) could be a decreasing relational nature of the self. Maybe what is at stake in the evaluation of this relationality is the possibility to find something like a ‘digital subjectivity’. An individual becomes a subject insofar as is object of another one. It depends on acknowledging that the very identity is related to being addressed from someone: in other words, what we are is not the same than who we are (Cavarero, 1997). Is the digital production of our coherent, True Self capable of this distinction? If ‘who we are’ is performing in process, through specific and prompt acts, to what extent can it be expressed by the universal knowledge of a computable essence, by ‘self-knowledge through numbers’, as in Quantified Self (QS) digital community? Who I am is contingent, that is to say: any time, I’m who I perform, although I may not to. That goes both ways: ‘who I am’ means the possibility of preferring not to do ‘what I am’ too, like the Melville’s Scrivener Bartleby. This missed overlap, the gap between who and what we are, which some e-selfing strategies maybe risk filling in the light of the transparency principle, conveys the subjectification power, which only makes political an identity.”

Sabino Paparella, fellow of UNIRI CAS SEE, is “Cultore della materia” (assistant) in Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Bari (Italy), where he got his PhD and where he taught in the Master Program in “Philosophy, Politics and Economics in Med (PPE)”. He mainly deals with French contemporary philosophy and he spent some research periods in Paris. He wrote some papers on the political implications of discursive and conceptual machineries.
He took part in the Italian Thought Network and in the “Permanent Seminar of Philosophy and Politics” at Scuola Normale Superiore (Pisa). He worked as journalist and, currently, he is teaching “History and Philosophy” at the high-school.

The seminar was held on December 5, 2019 in dialogue with UNIRI CAS SEE fellows at the University Campus in Rijeka.

Spring – Autumn 2019 CAS SEE Fellowship Recipients

The Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe (CAS SEE) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Spring – Autumn 2019 CAS SEE Fellowship Awards at the University of Rijeka. The purpose of the CAS SEE Fellowship Programme is to further the research and creative work in the fields of the humanities and humanistic social sciences in the Balkans. Fellows will present their work within the CAS-Collegium, creating an intellectually heterogeneous atmosphere and fostering a productive self-examination or even friction, which may lead to new and unexpected ideas and innovation.

Please join us in congratulating the following CAS SEE Fellowship Awards, University of Rijeka recipients:

Bojan Baca (York University, Canada)

Project – title: “Digitalization of the Marketplace of (Reactionary) Ideas: The Alt-Right as a Political Ideology, Social Movement, and Counter-Culture”

Monica Cano Abadia (University of Zaragoza, Spain)

Project – title: “New Materialist Cartographies of Patterns of Exclusion in Digital Environments”

Guglielmo Feis (University of Milan, Italy)

Project – title: “Channeling Social Justice through the Blockchain? A Critical Review of the Potentiality of Distributed Ledger Technology (DTL) in Reducing Financial Inequalities and Improve the Access to Financial Information”

Ivan Flis (Utrecht University, Netherlands)

Project – title: “Open Science as a Movement of Digital Disruption”

Greta Favara (University of Milan, Italy)

Project – title: “Normative Political Theory and the Public Role of the Theorist”

Natasha Jankovic (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Project – title:Rijeka: an experimental field of concrete utopia”

Nilay Kilinc (University of Surrey, UK)

Project – title: “Highly-Skilled Turkish Migrants’ Search for Alternative Diaspora Spaces in Europe: How They Build (Digital) Social Networks Beyond the ‘Culture of Rejection’”

Dragana Kovačević Bielicki (University of Oslo, Norway)

Project – title: “Mapping the anti-migrant protests in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina through their online media coverage (2015-present)”

Massimo Leone (University of Fribourg, Switzerland)

Project – title: “Democracy and Trolling in Internet Threads (DETROIT)”

Andrey Menshikov (Ural State University, Russia)

Project – title: “Unequal Distribution of Religious Freedom in the Discourse on Human Rights”

Valentina Moro (University of Padova, Italy)

Project – title: “Deconstructing Languages of Rejection: a Political Theory Analysis of Feminist Discourses and Methodologies”

Sabino Paparella (University of Bari, Italy)

Project – title: “Political Disintermediation in the Digital Era”

Roberto Roccu (LSE, London, UK)

Project – title: “Comparative Political Economies of Lost Hope: Subaltern Trajectories of Inequality, Transformation and Rejection from the Arab Uprisings to Crisis Europe”

Oszkar Roginer (University of Graz, Austria)

Project – title: “Cultures of Rejections – (self)perception of minorities and knowledge production”

Francesca Rolandi (University of Milan, Italy)

Project – title: “Doš’o sam u grad iz pasivnog kraja. Internal Migration, Settlement Dynamics and Social Practices in post-World War II Rijeka”

Snezana Vesnic (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Project – title: “Positive European Futures: Creating New Concepts for the Transformation and Redefinition of Digital European Values Case study: Rijeka Between Analog and Digital”