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Accepted Paper:

‚Already Done. Nothing Changed.‘ - Absurdist Signification and Violent Repetition in academic IT-Departments during the Pandemic  
Christian Schirmer (Philipps-Universität Marburg)

Paper short abstract:

This paper recounts and theorizes the experience of holding a job with a University’s IT-Department during the COVID-19 Pandemic. It argues that absurdity’s complexity necessitates a framework in which the Subject is understood as a nexus of (in)finitude to grasp absurdity in daily reality.

Paper long abstract:

Kafka once argued, that the secular individual only comes into contact with divinity while being engaged with a state’s bureaucratic institutions. And yet, when a database answers ‚Already Done. Nothing Changed.‘, what happens with the Divine and do we still want to find it?

This paper recounts and theorizes the experiences a working person made while holding a job with a University’s IT-Department during the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic. It argues that a deeper understanding of absurdity’s complexity necessitates a framework in which the Subject is understood as a nexus of finitude and infinitude in order to grasp the violent avenues through which guilt-, violence-, and pleasure-inducing mechanisms of absurdity interpellate the Subject within the framework of a decaying (dis-)order of signification and of a fraying symbolic reality.

This paper argues that Absurdity might serve as a technique of governing the Subject and as a means of subjectification by perpetuating cynicism, a contradictory enjoyment of one’s situation and through (mis-)identification with one’s misery and pleasure. This regime of absurd interpellation is not an accidental byproduct of current modes of exploitation, but it is central to extracting surplus from the subject that finds itself within these conditions.

Panel P063b
States of the absurd II
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -