Remedios Zafra is a writer and professor of Art and Digital Culture at the University of Seville (Spain). She taught Politics of the Gaze at the Carlos III University of Madrid (2010-2014), directed the platform X0y1 for research and art practice on identity and network culture (2009-2014, www.x0y1.net) and has run outstanding cultural projects on Gender and Cyberspace over the last fifteen years. As an author, her essay books include: Ojos y Capital; Los que miran; (h)adas. Mujeres que crean, programan, prosumen, teclean; Un cuarto propio conectado; and Netianas. N(h)acer mujer en Internet. Her work deals with critical study of Network Culture and Feminist Studies and of Gender Identity. Some of her books has been translated into Italian and English (e.g. A room of one’s own. (cyber)space and (self)management of the Self)) and has achieved important recognition, through the following awards: Premio Meridiana de Cultura; Premio Málaga de Ensayo; Premio de Investigación de la Cátedra Leonor de Guzmán and Premio de Ensayo Carmen de Burgos.
Within the contemporary primacy of seeing via screens, experience is increasingly sustained within logics that dissolve old forms of collectivity and quantitatively condition new regimes of value and recognition of the other. In her most recent book Eyes and Capital, (Ojos y capital, 2015) Zafra suggests that the system becomes perverted setting in play two substantial gains: power over technological management of visibility as a guarantee of existence and value (eyes as a new currency); and involvement in what we deliver up in the networks, more or less consciously, contributing to new forms of domination and colonization of the gaze. And, although the inequality of the “non-seen”, of the excluded and non-conformists, permits today an appropriation of the net to bring into view zones of shadow and of the precariousness of what has traditionally remained outside the frame, this also shows up the illusion of a net-culture where the machine and its mechanisms have been made “invisible” to us through their ever-presentness and excess. Indeed, conflicts in our times make use not only of speedy online mobilization, but of the paralysis derived from infinite distances that makes it possible to see through technology as a new habitat, the blindness of seeing the “now” with no rest and no blinking, in a symptomatic crisis –or perhaps established status- of attention. It is a matter of urgency to understand the individual, whose life confronts the risk that this excess will have the effect of switching off our conscience. This essay about the present and the net-culture, in its questioning of identity through visuality and the economy, cuts through concepts such as shadow, disappearance, representation, value, wastefulness, reciprocity, moral loop, capitalism and feminization, throwing into question the existing forms of value creation and new collectivity in the networks (what is to become of ethical and political links).