The Desires of the Crowd: Scenario for a Future Social System


  • Karin Hansson


The micro-financing of artists offers new possibilities for people outside the economic and cultural elite to become patrons of the arts. One might term it a more democratic base for the artistic activity and its varied discursive practices. However, it is not just the economy of art that focuses on people with the particular skills to make things that get called ”˜art.’ Promoting a personal brand in the form of taste, education and social relations is also central to every career in an insecure and flexible labor market, and not only in the creative sector. Accordingly, the crowd funding of humanity, rather than of production of commodities, is a possible and reasonable scenario for a future social system, where people are deeply interconnected in collaborative networks.

In order to examine what such a system might look like in practice, I have in my project The Affect Machine formulated a market place for social relations. Here I show how the principles for a capitalist institution like a corporation can be combined with those of a digital social network, and thus point to a form of merger between the private and public sector. In this scenario for a future social system, we may approach something resembling Marx’s vision of a communist society.