62 episodes

The ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL) is a research and creativity workshop for the radical imagination active around the world and locally in Thunder Bay, Canada.

RiVAL Radio RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab

    • Education

The ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL) is a research and creativity workshop for the radical imagination active around the world and locally in Thunder Bay, Canada.

    Conspiracy Plays - Hugh Davies on the temptations of alternate reality (EoP01)

    Conspiracy Plays - Hugh Davies on the temptations of alternate reality (EoP01)

    On this first episode of THE EXPLOITS OF PLAY we speak with Hugh Davies about alternate reality games and gaming and the paranoid world of conspiracism.

    More information: https://weirdeconomies.com/podcasts/exploits-of-play

    THE EXPLOITS OF PLAY is a 10-episode podcast about how games and play have moved from the margin to the centre of global capitalism. It is produced by Weird Economies and hosted by Max Haiven.

    Dr. Hugh Davies is an artist, curator, and researcher. Working across digital media, academic scholarship, and creative practice, he explores the social, cultural, and political dimensions of art and technology. He’s written two books on game culture and ethnographies of play and is currently a research fellow with a focus on Chinese Platform Studies at RMIT in Melbourne.

    Max Haiven is a writer and teacher and Canada Research Chair in the Radical Imagination. His most recent books are Palm Oil: The Grease of Empire (2022), Revenge Capitalism: The Ghosts of Empire, the Demons of Capital, and the Settling of Unpayable Debts (2020) and Art after Money, Money after Art: Creative Strategies Against Financialization (2018). Haiven is editor of VAGABONDS, a series of short, radical books from Pluto Press. He teaches at Lakehead University, where he directs the ReImagining Value Action Lab (RiVAL).

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Colour, corporations and other fictions - Max Haiven

    Colour, corporations and other fictions - Max Haiven

    This essay, which explores histories of the corporation, race and (intellectual) property regimes, appeared in a catalogue published to accompany Danish artist Hannibal Andersen’s 2022 exhibition The Abstract Expression of Privatization. In that work, an installation and a large mural explored corporate claims to the ownership of certain colours. The full essay can be read here:https://maxhaiven.com/colour-corporations-and-other-fictions/

    • 24 min
    Writing SF with Amazon Workers: Introducing the Worker as Futurist Project (Max Haiven)

    Writing SF with Amazon Workers: Introducing the Worker as Futurist Project (Max Haiven)

    Amazon, a corporation that is by some estimates the world's largest private employer, has succeeded in part because of a kind of sci-fi storytelling that places the firm at the forefront of capitalism, technology and human achievement. But if it presents a utopian narrative of itself, its workers pay the price, many of them toiling in dystopian conditions to create a profit-driven future that will exclude or exploit them.
    The Worker as Futurist Project supports rank-and-file Amazon workers to write and publish short, speculative fiction about "the world after Amazon." It is undertaken in solidarity with workers' and communities' struggles around the world against a corporation whose wealth and power, today, rivals or exceeds that of many states. But beyond just fighting back, the Worker as Futurist project aims to reclaim the imagination of what the world might yet be if workers, rather than bosses, got to decide.
    In this presentation, the project's initiator, Dr. Max Haiven (Canada Research Chair in the Radical Imagination at Lakehead University) speaks at the 2023 Historical Materialism Conference (London) about the origins, inspirations, goals and progress of the project.
    In particular, Haiven focuses on the project in the context of methodologies of "workers' inquiry" and militant inquiry more broadly, in which researchers play the role of facilitators creating space and time for an analysis of the changing nature of capitalism to emerge from those who experience its cutting edge directly: workers at firms like Amazon.
    For more information about the project, visit: https://reimaginingvalue.ca/waf/

    • 19 min
    Extrapolation, Speculation, Fabulation - Steven Shaviro on the work of science fiction (WSS013)

    Extrapolation, Speculation, Fabulation - Steven Shaviro on the work of science fiction (WSS013)

    Steven Shaviro is a cultural critic and leading theorist of the social roles of science fiction and author of many books, including The Universe of Things: On Speculative Realism (2014) and Discognition (2016). His book on science fiction, Fluid Futures, will be published in 2024. In this interview, he helps us understand the history of science fiction and its potentials to critique dominant power relations.

    *http://www.shaviro.com/

    The Workers' Speculative Society is a research podcast about the world Amazon is building and the workers, writers and communities that are demanding a different future. It is part of the Worker as Futurist Project, which supports rank-and-file Amazon workers to write speculative fiction about "The World After Amazon. It is hosted by Xenia Benivolski, Max Haiven, Sarah Olutola, and Graeme Webb and is an initiative of RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab, with support from the Social Sciences a Humanities Research Council of Canada. Editing and theme music by Robert Steenkamer.

    * soundcloud.com/reimaginevalue/sets/the-workers-speculative
    * workersspeculativesociety.org
    * reimaginingvalue.ca

    • 47 min
    No Worker is Disposable, from Amazon to Gaza - with Mostafa Henaway (WSS012)

    No Worker is Disposable, from Amazon to Gaza - with Mostafa Henaway (WSS012)

    In the thick of the pandemic, Montreal-based writer and organizer Mostafa Henaway worked at an Amazon fulfillment centre to learn how "essential" workers were made disposable in the name of corporate profits. In this episode, he shares stories and critical reflections on the sci-fi nature of Amazon's brand of capitalism, and the implications for workers' organizing and resistance. He concludes with vital thoughts on how this is connected to a broader story of imperialism that also encompasses the ongoing nightmare in Gaza.

    Mostafa Henaway, a Canadian-born Egyptian, is a long-time community organizer at the Immigrant Workers Centre in Montreal, where he has been organizing for justice for immigrant/migrant workers for over two decades. He is also a researcher and PhD candidate at Concordia University. His book Essential Work, Disposable Workers: Migration, Capitalism and Class was published in 2023.

    * https://fernwoodpublishing.ca/book/essential-work-disposable-workers

    The Workers' Speculative Society is a research podcast about the world Amazon is building and the workers, writers and communities that are demanding a different future. It is part of the Worker as Futurist Project, which supports rank-and-file Amazon workers to write speculative fiction about "The World After Amazon. It is hosted by Xenia Benivolski, Max Haiven, Sarah Olutola, and Graeme Webb and is an initiative of RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab, with support from the Social Sciences a Humanities Research Council of Canada. Editing and theme music by Robert Steenkamer.

    * http://soundcloud.com/reimaginevalue/sets/the-workers-speculative
    * http://workersspeculativesociety.org
    * http://reimaginingvalue.ca

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Portrait of the Author as Amazon Worker​ - Heike Geissler on work and writing (WSS011)

    Portrait of the Author as Amazon Worker​ - Heike Geissler on work and writing (WSS011)

    Heike Geissler is a prominent German novelist and writer who lives and works in Leipzig, once a major city in communist  former "East Germany." Today, it is a major logistics hub for Amazon and site of the "reunified" country's first strike against the American corporation in 2013.

    In her 2014 memoir Saisonarbeit (published in English in 2018 as Seasonal Associate), Geissler meditates on the months she spent working at an Amazon fulfillment centre in 2010 and what it tells us about work under capitalism today.

    * https://www.heikegeissler.de/
    * https://spectorbooks.com/de/buch/saisonarbeit
    * https://mitpress.mit.edu/9781635900439/seasonal-associate/

    The Workers' Speculative Society is a research podcast about the world Amazon is building and the workers, writers and communities that are demanding a different future. It is part of the Worker as Futurist Project, which supports rank-and-file Amazon workers to write speculative fiction about "The World After Amazon. It is hosted by Xenia Benivolski, Max Haiven, Sarah Olutola, and Graeme Webb and is an initiative of RiVAL: The ReImagining Value Action Lab, with support from the Social Sciences a Humanities Research Council of Canada. Editing and theme music by Robert Steenkamer.

    * soundcloud.com/reimaginevalue/sets/the-workers-speculative
    * workersspeculativesociety.org
    * reimaginingvalue.ca

    • 57 min

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