How might individuals or communities — or entire societies — resist surveillance, data capture, planned obsolescence, compulsory connectivity and productivity and other impositions of “surveillance capitalism”? At what scale, or what level of the “network stack,” might they meaningfully intervene? How might their subjectivities inform the politics — and particularly the risks — or their resistant action? What verbs are used to describe these actions — avoidance, non-use, resistance, refusal, “dark sousveillance” (Simone Browne), obfuscation, etc. — and what are their implied politics?
Lab: As we discuss the readings, Emily will introduce us to various cartographic and mediated strategies for resistance.
To be reviewed for today’s class:
- Finn Brunton and Helen Nissenbaum, “How to Obfuscate,” Nautilus (June 29, 2017).
- Simone Browne, “Surveillance Studies” in Dark Matters: On the Surveillance of Blackness (Duke University Press, 2015): 12-23 — especially 18-23.
- Seeta Peña Gangadharan, “Digital Exclusion: A Politics of Refusal,” in Rob Reich, Lucy Bernholz, and Helene Landemore, eds., Digital Technology and Democratic Theory (forthcoming 2020 – please do not circulate!).
- Skim T. Lewis, S. P. Gangadharan, M. Saba, and T. Petty, Digital Defense Playbook: Community Tools for Reclaiming Data (Our Data Bodies, 2018).
- Amit S. Rai, “Introduction” and “Diagramming Affect” in Jugaad Time: Ecologies of Everyday Hacking in India (Duke University Press, 2019): 1-38, 128-49.
- Gautam Bhan, “Stalling: How to Save the Global City,” Public Books (June 11, 2019).
- See the work of American Artist and Tega Brain’s Unfit Bits.
- There are dozens of other resources on our Are.na Channel on “Resisting Smartness!”