Nomad Aesthetics and the Global Knowledge Economy

Martin Wood


Digital technology and software networks enable large numbers of knowledge workers to incorporate themselves wherever and whenever they wish and to choose between a sedentary or nomadic lifestyle. One way of configuring these new circumstances is as the extensive power of people, products and markets to speedily overcome obstacles and span distances. However, we increasingly see non- representative corporations accelerating human pace and swallowing open spaces within the rational administrative control of a new supranational “Empire”. Intensive movement, on the other hand, reconfigures the human condition in ways that politically and ethically engage with universalizing global processes. Like the traditional nomads of the steppe or the desert, for example, the movement in question is a complex, dynamic relation characterized by its immediacy and continuous variation of alliance and resistance, that remains difficult to locate, difficult to control, and even more difficult to defeat. The paper argues that nomadism can be a starting point for an opposing strategy to the global knowledge economy. 

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