Life as Live-Stream:

Douglas Rushkoff and Rachel Rosenfelt

Thursday 21 March, 2013
7pm, $0

McNally Jackson
52 Prince Street

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The future is a thing of the past. In his new book, Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, award winning author and media analyst, Douglas Rushkoff, introduces the theory of "presentism," the new ethos of a society that's always on, in real time, updating live. Bereft of history and ungrounded by longer term goals, we spend every day navigating a sea of digital forms that collapse past and future into a mash-up of the immediate moment. How do we reconcile our digital selves with our physical brains and bodies? How do we keep up this fragmentation of our psyches? And how has "presentism" influenced popular culture, from reality TV shows to The Simpsons, and politics, from Occupy Wall Street to the formation of The Tea Party? 

Where other theorists might decry or celebrate our slavish dependence on technology, Rushkoff explores the ways in which it can be both  exhilarating and disorienting. He confronts those who fear the anti-narrative bent of our digital age, and embraces instead the reality of a narrative of the perpetual present tense.

Rushkoff will be joined in conversation by Rachel Rosenfelt, founder and editor of The New Inquiry. 

Douglas Rushkoff is a renowned media theorist who has been an authority on the intersection of technology and culture since before the word “google” was anything more than baby talk. His twelve books, including Program or Be ProgrammedLifeInc., and Cyberia have won prestigious awards and have been translated into thirty languages. He is a commentator on CNN and a contributor to Time, Discover, and NPR. He also made the PBS documentaries Merchants of Cool, The Persuaders, and Digital Nation. For more info, visit

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