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    This other atmosphere: against human resources, Emoji, and devices

    Leslie, Esther (2019) This other atmosphere: against human resources, Emoji, and devices. Journal of Visual Culture 18 (1), pp. 3-29. ISSN 1470-4129.

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    Frequently humans are invited to engage with modern visual forms: emoji, emoticons, pictograms. Some of these forms are finding their ways into the workplace, understood as augmentations to workplace atmospheres. What has been called the ‘quantified workplace’ requires its workers to log their rates of stress, wellbeing, their subjective sense of productivity on scale of 1-5 or by emoji, in a context in which HR professionals develop a vocabulary of Workforce Analytics, People Analytics, Human Capital Analytics or Talent Analytics, and all this in the context of managing the work environment or its atmosphere. Atmosphere is mood, a compote of emotions. Emotions are a part of a human package characterised as ‘the quantified self’, a self intertwined with - subject to but also compliant with - tracking and archiving. The logical step for managing atmospheres is to track emotions at a granular and largescale level. Through the concept of the digital crowd, rated and self-rating, as well as emotion tracking strategies, the human resource (as worker and consumer) engages in a new politics of the crowd, organised around what political philosopher Jodi Dean calls, affirmatively, ‘secondary visuality’, high circulation communication fusing together speech, writing and image as a new form. This is the visuality of communicative, or social media, capitalism. But to the extent that it is captured by HR, is it an exposure less to crowdsourced democracy, and more a stage in turning the employee into an on-the-shelf item in a digital economy warehouse, assessed by Likert scales? While HR works on new atmospheres of work, what other atmospheres pervade the context of labour, and can these be deployed in the generation of other types of affect, ones that work towards the free association of labour and life?


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Esther Leslie
    Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 09:00
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:46


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