The end of the world as we know it is no longer imaginary.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2 (also known as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19) is a potent virus that is upturning nearly every aspect of life on earth. But the novel Coronavirus is more than just a virus. It is a marketplace and media event, too, broadcasting at speed, oscillating against the transmission of its mediations. Ultimately, COVID-19 is the pretext upon which nations around the world have enacted social controls of varying severity, strictly limiting the communication, movement, and daily activities of billions of people. This could be a moment of overwhelming consolidation of capital. Or it could further reveal the cracks in a system which has exacerbated the coronavirus pandemic. We are rapidly approaching the limits of control.
In the tradition of William S. Burroughs, Naomi Klein, Mark Fisher, and other key theorists of discipline and jurisdiction, The Limits of Control offers a timely new analysis of control societies, and a sibylline roadmap for living together in a hypervirulent world. What we imagine from now on has never mattered more.
Ryan Alexander Diduck is an author, scholar, lecturer and critic. His 2015 doctoral dissertation, “Global Controller”, was the first cultural history of MIDI — the Musical Instrument Digital Interface. Diduck’s writing has appeared in The Wire, The Quietus and Fact Magazine. He lives in Montréal.