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Of the Subcontract

Or Principles of Poetic Right

Of the Subcontract by Nick Thurston
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Of the Subcontract is a collection of poems about computational capitalism, each of which was written by an underpaid worker subcontracted through Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk service. The collection is ordered according to cost-of-production and repurposes metadata about the efficiency of each writer to generate informatic typographic embellishments. Those one hundred poems are braced between two newly commissioned essays; the whole book is threaded with references to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Wolfgang von Kempelen and the emerging iconography of cloud living.

Of the Subcontract reverses out of the database-driven digital world of new labour pools into poetry’s black box: the book. It reduces the poetic imagination to exploited labour and, equally, elevates artificial intelligence to the status of the poetic. In doing so, it explores the all-too-real changes that are reforming every kind of work, each day more quickly, under the surface of life.
Coach House Books; May 2016
145 pages; ISBN 9781770564909
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Title: Of the Subcontract
Author: Nick Thurston; McKenzie Wark; Darren Wershler-Henry
 
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ISBNs
177056490X
9781770564909