Riley, “Sorry to Bother You.”

Why animalize humans rather than automate labor? The pleasure of domination and violence depends on a relation between living beings.


  1. Besides the specific narrative choice (of showing human animals rather than AI labour) of this specific film, I don’t think it’s an either-or scenario…for example a ‘digital subaltern’ (could be a leisure-class senior citizen or a working-class youth or someone else) in the rapidly automatizing world is also a potential automated labourer (of producing data, among other things), if (s)he can’t shape up and fit in, not only (s)he is shipped out / exiled / invisibilised beyond the big data panopticon, (s)he also becomes an animalized human…one step behind in the ‘evolution’ and a ‘risky’, opaque blur…

    1. Yes good point about the affinity of digital subalternity with animalized humanity. It reminds of me of how, in Asian American studies, we talk about “human human,” animalized human, roboticized human — all of which are raced (white, Black, Asian), gendered (male, hyper-masculine, feminine), classed (master/boss, slave, coolie) formations.

      1. Forgive the overly schematized presentation… but the gist is agreed the mechanized/animalized subordinations are related.

      2. Thanks! Very intrigued. Would like to read up more on this…(“human human” in AAS)

    2. Falguni Sheth (not strictly AAS, but fairly close) has good writing on “human like us”:

      1. Thank you! Looking at it right away…

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