This lecture, scheduled to take place on the 24th, is cancelled because of illness of our speaker. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Economy and production have often been dressed up in gothic cliché, such as 'the dark satanic mills' of industrialisation or the equally uncanny 'free hand of the marketplace': a dead limb full of independent activity.

The sociology of the modern monster still applies. Also the zombi – with its highly ambiguous relationship to individuality, consciousness and life itself – begs a contemporary materialist analysis. In this way we may consider the zombi a model for immaterial labour and the way it is underpinned by a celebration of logistics and a colonisation of the brain and the nervous system. Deleuze and Guattari put it radically: “The only modern myth is the myth of zombis – mortified schizos, good for work, brought back to reason.”

With examples from horror literature, visual art and Hollywood zombi cinema, such an analysis – braindead or ridiculous as it may be – can help us dramatise the vegetal innocence and insatiable greed of today's immaterial worker and cultural consumer. An abject masquerade for the experience economy.

A public lecture in the framework of the thematic project “Masquerade” curated for the Piet Zwart Institute by If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part of Your Revolution.

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