Pace: the Affective Labour
of Activity Tracking
Pace is the new speed. Different from past expectations that we speed up constantly, activity tracking devices and apps implore consumers to track their consistent, optimal pace across activities of daily life. Activity tracking is far more than a consumer fad or an interesting new media practice that brings improved health. Employing feminist, mobility and affective labour theory, Gardner discusses how pace, as a new normal, encourages neoliberal self-practices of personal health monitoring, self-management, and automation. More, trackers suggest that pace should be shared and rewarded, and even exchanged for philanthropy credits. Trackers craft the successful worker/subject as one chronically in search of more likes, as s/he embraces global, corporate labour ideals.
Paula Gardner, PhD, is Associate Professor in LAS/SIS and co-directs the Mobile Experience Lab. Her scholarship focusing on feminist science and media studies is published in major journals of Communication, Feminist studies, Media and Mobile studies, and Critical science studies; she is currently working on a book entitled Pace, the Politics of Activity Tracking.
A House Divided: Academic Freedom, Artistic Freedom and Their Complicated Relationship
Academic freedom’s relation to artistic freedom isn’t self-evident. Indeed, art seems to enjoy less freedom in universities than other forms of expression. My discussion examines this tension and considers the rapport that artistic freedom might have with other forms of specialized academic freedom that often attract censure, like scientific freedom.
Charles Reeve, PhD, is an Associate Professor in Faculty of Art and LAS/SIS.