“Reversal, Disconnect, and Proposition: Noise and Data Politics in the work of Julian Oliver and Trevor Paglen” by Day



    Reversal, Disconnect, and Proposition: Noise and Data Politics in the work of Julian Oliver and Trevor Paglen



    This paper examines the potential countertactics of contemporary interactive media art to interrogate the data-mining practices that encode the everyday and exploit user data in the big data economy. It argues that noise is the “other” of information, a way to counter the operation of turning the world into data commodities. Through a Brechtian methodology informed by philosophy and critical theories of media and technology, the paper suggests that amplifying the “noise” of the digital media assemblages deviates from their everyday normative functions and estranges our relationship to them, inviting critical ways of understanding, relating to, and engaging these ubiquitous systems. All three noted artworks destabilize the protocols of data-mining to examine data politics. Specifically, the paper looks at three different tactics that amplify the “noise” of digital culture in different ways: reversing roles, disconnecting, and proposing viable alternatives.


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