New Article on the Materiality of Big Social Data

I have a new article ‘Data Motility: The Materiality of Big Social Data’ published in the journal Cultural Studies Review. It is in the special issue ‘Coding Labour’ edited by Esther Milne and Anthony McCosker. The article originated at a conference held back in November 2012 at Swinburne University in Melbourne Australia. The special issue features Jussi Parikka, Rowan WIlken, Anna Munster and Ned Rossiter, among others. It is most excellent and very much worth a read.

My article examines the material ecosystem of big social data: the kind of data we generate, the computational environment in which it is processed,and  the third parties accessing and aggregating our data. It offers conceptual framing for the way in which the data we generate circulates almost wholly autonomously of our control, through an almost exclusively proprietary environment.It asks whether this makes us merely generators of value for digital enterprise (or indeed targets of pervasive surveillance by the security state) or whether there is more progressive cultural and political potential therein.

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