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Disobedient aesthetics : surveillance, bodies, control

Disobedient aesthetics : surveillance, bodies, control / Anthony Stagliano.
Tuscaloosa, Alabama : The University of Alabama Press, [2024]
Physical Description
xii, 180 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
"Disobedient Aesthetics examines emergent forms of creative civil disobedience that have arisen in response to digital tools of surveillance and control. Analyzing activities that defy-by hacking, subverting, or otherwise thwarting efforts to use the interface of our bodies and networked technologies-Disobedient Aesthetics theorizes the rhetorical and aesthetic character of such disobedient acts and the possibilities, limitations, and risks they pose for democratic participation. In recent decades, new tools of surveillance and control have become ubiquitous, among them security cameras, data mining in social media spaces, and biometric scanning. As such, we all now dwell in spaces of public, everyday life that entangle networked levers of control with the facticity of having bodies, DNA, or even faces in public. Each chapter probes a different aspect of our embodied experience as sites of data exploitation. The first chapter examines tactical interventions into the thermal vision systems used on military drones. Human body heat itself is transformed into a media object and a source of data for lethal drone systems. In the following chapter, we encounter extraordinarily sophisticated facial recognition platforms that are turning our very faces into actionable data mines. The next chapter examines two kinds of on-demand DNA analysis, at-home testing, like that used by 23andMe, and a related police practice, to show what's at stake when the hunger for personal data dives all the way into our genetic makeup. The next chapter considers how surveillance and control has come to change urban governance, and with it the physical space of publicness itself. Data-driven governance, paired with home "sharing" platforms like AirBNB apply even more pressure on populations, and have engendered new predictive forms of policing and new architectural forms, such as anti-homeless spikes in public spaces. The final chapter examines several different creative, critical, and collective efforts to democratize access to the technical knowledge needed to intervene in the control systems addressed in the prior chapters. A concluding epilogue revisits current theories and manifestations of "control," and offers an alternative reading of Gilles Deleuze's oft-cited thesis on control societies-namely, that with control, it is not a matter of escaping it, but a matter of "finding new weapons" to undermine its functions. All of the projects and activities surveyed here do indeed attempt that, but the epilogue meditates on an alternative to finding new "weapons," in the search for new "tactics." Ultimately, Disobedient Aesthetics theorizes control and the possibilities of creative, disobedient intervention into it, as at once an aesthetic and rhetorical phenomenon, with the creative disruptions of control surveyed here standing as potent models for productive paths for democratizing technology now"-- Provided by publisher.
"Examines emergent forms of creative civil disobedience that have arisen in response to digital tools of bodily surveillance and control. The contemporary world bristles with tools of observation and manipulation. Security cameras, social media, data mining, biometric scans, and other instruments ensnare the individual in a web of surveillance. In Disobedient Aesthetics, Anthony Stagliano exposes the use of human lives as sites of data exploitation and outlines paths of resistance. From the thermal-vision systems used on military drones, which use human body heat itself as a media object, to facial recognition platforms that use human faces as data mines, and from law enforcement tools of DNA analysis to data-driven urban governance, the realm of algorithmic surveillance and control is wide and subtle. Disobedient Aesthetics outlines interventions into the technical systems subtending data-driven surveillance and control. Stagliano maps not only the surveillant regimes afforded by recent networked technologies, but also the inventive, artistic research into ways of undermining, upending, or redirecting such technologies. The concluding chapter examines creative, critical, and collective efforts to democratize access to the technology that undergirds such scrutiny and enables ways to detect and contest its power. In a fascinating epilogue, Stagliano revisits current theories of control and offers an alternative reading of Gilles Deleuze's oft-cited thesis on control societies: namely that it is not a matter of "finding new weapons" to undermine control but developing new techniques, new designs, new prototypes, and new modes of creative escape. "-- Provided by publisher.
Added to Catalog
April 29, 2024
Rhetoric + digitality
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Introduction : disobedient mediations
On tactical rhetorical encounters
The traffic in faces
Genome fever
Rhetorical resolutions
Life hacks
Epilogue : finding new weapons?

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