Posted on | October 11, 2014 | No Comments
Some new publications I’ve been working on lately…
Inside the Data Spectacle, forthcoming in Television and New Media:
This paper focuses first on the scopophilic aspects of large scale data visualization – the fantasy of command and control through seeing (Halperin 2014) – and places these in relation to key sites and conventions inside the tech industry. Borrowing John Caldwell’s (2008) notion of “industrial reflexivity”, I explain the charismatic power and performative effects that attend representations of data as visual spectacle. Drawing on 12 months of personal experience working for a large technology company, and observations from a number of relevant showcases, conferences and events, I take a “production studies” approach (Mayer et al., 2010) to understand the forms of commonsense produced in industry settings. I then offer two examples of data work understood as a new kind of “below the line” labor.
The Effective Academic Executive, forthcoming in ‘What’s Become of Australian Cultural Studies?’ a special issue of Cultural Studies in honour of Graeme Turner:
This paper for a special issue of Cultural Studies focuses on Graeme Turner’s exemplary management style – his role as a mentor and a keen institutional operator. Turner’s brand of cultural studies is defined by its attention to the arts and politics of management alongside the customary business of doing research. It is cultural studies’ lack of engagement with management theory that has made this type of work difficult to appreciate. This paper acknowledges the significance of Turner’s management politics, its relevance to his broader intellectual project, and its importance for the field of Cultural Studies at a time of ‘adhoc professionalism’.
Hack for good: Speculative labor, app development and the burden of austerity, submitted to Fibreculture for a special issue coming out of last year’s Apps and Affect conference in London, Ontario:
This paper analyzes the rise of ‘hackathons’ – intensive code- and data-sharing events that bring participants together to accomplish specific challenges – to understand their role in the ecosystem for app development and the qualities of work they promote. It isolates the specific ideological work of the civic hackathon, which presents a new development in the history of sacrificial labor supplementing creative industries. Hackathons are a bridge between the ‘free labor’ foundational to the early internet and the practice of spec work in the field of design. When the hackathon is advertised as ‘civic’ voluntarism, the labor involved in design is doubly discounted.