Noomodernity: Capitalism and the Mutating Intellect

by Christian Parreno

[bios: body, habits, and practices specific to life; nous: knowledge, intellect, and mental disposition]

[…] there is an important distinction to be made between so-called neoliberal economies (global capitalism) and emerging theories on cognitive capitalism. Not that the mental and cognitive were absent in the earlier forms of capitalism, but that the degree to which the mind and the mental are engaged by those power structures and how they have been infected into the very thought patterns of humans has never been as rigorously pursued or intense. One might add simply that if globalization can be generally said to act to spatially reconfigure our geographic world, then cognitive capital further acts through a reconfiguration of the temporal structures that also serve to mediate such things as memory and attention. We are no longer referring to capitalism solely as a mode of production of material goods and labor nor simply to immaterial labor and goods prevalent in neoliberal economies (and the organisations of power and distribution of intensive networks such production reproduces). But we must now recognize highly complex sets of tangible and intangible forces and factors simultaneously integrated and dispersed in the production of new political-aesthetic cosmologies and socioeconomic ecologies, networks of relations, and subjectivities. These are both empowering and coercive means and distributions of relations of forces – biopower and noopower, operating through and within both biopolitics and noopolitics.

Hauptmann, Deborah (2010) ‘Introduction: Architecture and Mind in the Age of Communication and Information’ in Cognitive Architecture. From Biopolitics to Noopolitics. Edited by Hauptmann, D. and Neidich, W. Rotterdam – The Netherlands: 010 Publishers. 35