Becoming Operational: Automated Media, Datafication, and Power

Alkaa kello
Päättyy kello

Main building lecture hall A4


COMS and Datafication, Data Inequalities and Data Justice -international research network

Mark Andrejevic is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Monash University, Australia. His research focuses on digital media, surveillance and data mining in the digital era. He is the author of Infoglut:  How Too Much Information Is Changing the Way We Think and Know (2013), Reality TV: The Work of Being Watched (2004), iSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era (2007).

This presentation proposes some key concepts for thinking about the social impact of data-driven decision making. It argues that datafication and automation go hand-in-hand because of cascading logics of automation: automated data collection leads to automated data processing and, eventually, automated decision making and action. 

Such forms of automation rely on processes of simulation and pre-emption that dispense with the trappings of representation (and thus with the space for action that it opens up). Trevor Paglen, building on the work of Harun Farocki, describes operational images as those which serve as a form of action (by being part of a technical operation), rather than of representation.

The presentation considers what is at stake in the eclipse of representation and how it might serve as a leverage point for contesting the forms of opacity that characterize automated decision-making processes. The presentation develops an account of the relationship between simulation, pre-emption, and environmental forms of governance. It concludes wish some suggestions for contesting the post-subjective logics that link these together.



Professor Kaarina Nikunen, 040 190 4094