Interpassive Online: Outsourcing and Insourcing Enjoyment in Platform Capitalism
For Robert Pfaller, who first proposed the concept in 1996, interpassvity is most straightforwardly ‘the preference of particular subjects for delegating their enjoyment rather than having it themselves’. Interpassivity describes the pleasure yielded by a subject when his or her acts of pleasure are experienced via the body of another. Simple examples include telling your friends to ‘have a drink for you,’ egging them on to create an online dating profile or asking your kids to send you a postcard. Something like the common parlance for the idea is the concept of ‘living vicariously.’ For Pfaller, ‘rather than delegating their responsibilities to representative agents, interpassive people delegate precisely the things that they enjoy doing – those things that they do for pleasure, out of passion or conviction’. To put this into the language of contemporary capitalism, we can call interpassivity outsourced – rather than delegated - enjoyment.
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