Category Archives: Anti-surveillance

Vita Obscura: Reclaiming Your Life Through Lies, Surgery and Performance

Here’s a little video I made. It’s a coda to a paper I’m working on titled Vita Obscura: Obfuscating Biopower. In the paper I talk about how obfuscation as an anti-surveillance strategy can be used to resist biopower (Michel Foucault’s formula for how command and control works in modern societies). The video has some imaginative examples of how this could […]

Quantum Identities: Reflections on #QIS2

Note: this is about the 2017 Queer Internet Studies Symposium, a conference I participated in at UPenn last week.  You can find this article on the event website here. Imagine you’re online and something unexpected happens. You see an image that you didn’t intend to see or come across a message meant for somebody that isn’t you. You […]

endless, nameless

Thinking a lot about the lack of endings, of resolution and closure in digital worlds. There are the infinite scrolls and timelines of social media, of course, but also the punishing productivity norms of web development. Lots of beginnings and few endings, except in the case of unambiguous failure —a breakup, a parting with a particular platform […]

spirituality and surveillance

Turns out, a lot of people have been thinking, writing, and preaching (!) about the connections between spirituality and surveillance for some time now. I found a podcast of a sermon given by Unitarian Universalist Reverend M. Lara Hoke a few years ago. She’s asking people of faith to use their belief system as the basis for questioning government […]

make america online again

My fifth hotel in ten days — three in Virginia, one in New York City, one in North Carolina. These nights have been punctuated by stays at my parents’ house in New York and my apartment in Asheville, NC, whose lease expired on the thirty-first of July. Current location is Christiansburg, Virginia, not too far from the place I’ll be […]

immemoria (fiction)

(1) They’ll laugh when they don’t understand you and they’ll laugh when they do. He was very tired, she could tell by the colors around his eyes, he’s tired and so am I. I feel helpless against the surveillance state, against the inexorable spread of technology. The worst part is that it’s not fit to write about. […]

note

At the very beginning of my PhD research — which formally begins in August — here’s some stuff I hope to be working on: The  all-encompassing directive of transparency, in particular the role of interiority and personal myth-making in the “post-privacy” age. Power differentials between individuals and institutions re: surveillance and data gathering. Social issues of blockchain development and other “Web […]

being nobody

Who was it that said that in a truly oppressed society, people are not silenced, but forced to speak? “Neoliberalism turns the oppressed worker into a free contractor, an entrepreneur of the self. Today, everyone is a self-exploiting worker in their own enterprise…the prevailing mode of production is based on lonesome and isolated self-entrepreneurs, who […]

Privacy vs. Secrecy

The tenth chapter of Gabriella Coleman’s new book Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy: The Many Faces of Anonymous is titled “The Desire of a Secret Is To Be Told.” I haven’t read that far yet, so I don’t know what the context is, but those words jumped out at me as I looked over the table […]