The first episode of Delusioneering, Grafton’s audio series for Repeater Radio, is now live on Mixcloud. Take a listen to “Capitalism is Always too Late,” in which Grafton discusses how “just-in-time” capitalism failed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Grafton spoke with Nomiki Konst about biased algorithms and the rise of nostalgia in the twenty-first century. Watch it here.
Grafton spoke with Nate Bethea about media nostalgia, technology, and listening to Daft Punk’s Discovery on cassette. Take a listen here.
Grafton spoke with Doug Lain of Zer0 Books about his latest book, The Circle of the Snake. You can watch the interview here.
Grafton spoke with We Are The Mutants about nostalgia, Easter egg marketing, Big Tech, and his latest book, The Circle of the Snake. Read the interview here.
Laura Kemmerer reviews The Circle of the Snake for What Sleeps Beneath. Check it out here!
Grafton’s latest book, The Circle of the Snake: Nostalgia and Utopia in the Age of Big Tech, is out now wherever books are sold.
Shocked by 9/11, the Great Recession, digital anxiety, and ecological collapse, the West suffers from nostalgia. People everywhere yearn for a utopian version of the past that never existed. Desperate for relief, many long to escape from the present. Some will stop at nothing to achieve it.
In his essential new book, Grafton Tanner, author of Babbling Corpse: Vaporwave and the Commodification of Ghosts, argues that our nostalgia today is partly a consequence of the attention economy. At a time when historical literacy is crucial, and old prejudices are percolating into the present, Big Tech’s predictive algorithms are locking us into nostalgic feedback loops. The result is a precarious society with its gaze fixed on the good old days.
Spanning from the ancient Sophists to Black Mirror, The Circle of the Snake is at once a reckoning with the myth of digital utopia and an incisive analysis of nostalgia as a weapon to spread fascism.
“Whether it is dissecting the utopian fantasies of Big Tech gurus, revealing the political economy of the nostalgia industry, or uncovering exploitation in the global division of digital labour, The Circle and the Snake is just the guide we need to navigate, resist, and transform the online world. In precise, accessible prose, Grafton Tanner offers a much-needed vision of democratic alternatives to surveillance capitalism.” Vincent Mosco, author of The Smart City in a Digital World
“In an age of platform capitalism in which state power is transformed by Big Tech conglomerates who exercise increasing power over our movements, thoughts and ideologies, Grafton Tanner finds a way out via critique. Our particular brand of capitalism is best understood through a nostalgia industry which it uses to sustain itself, Tanner shows. Everything from popular culture, politics and music to fashion, TV and videogames can be seen as bound up with forms of nostalgia inherently connected to our economic conditions. By understanding nostalgia, Tanner lays bare our ideologies and confronts not only the historical development of capitalism but the particular condition of today’s digital corporate world.” Alfie Bown, author of The PlayStation Dreamworld
“In a world where it is suddenly impossible to disconnect, to log off, Tanner’s work deserves redoubled consideration.” Ryan Alexander Diduck, author of The Limits of Control
Grafton discussed Big Tech, nostalgia, and the future with Jamie Cohen and Josh Chapdelaine on the Digital Void podcast. Take a listen here.
Grafton spoke with Honeysweat about his latest book, The Circle of the Snake. Check it out here.