Media Studies First Colloquium of Spring '23 with Dr. Mark Andrejevic

Biometrics and Granular Biopolitics The Case of Facial Recognition Technology

This presentation considers the role played by automated vision in transforming bodies into “operational images” that enable the expansion of borders into enclosures – and the multiplication of these enclosures. In this respect, I seek to expand on Chris Rumfordʼs (2011) invitation to consider what it might mean to “see like a border” (67). I argue that the iconic character of the image – as representation – is collapsed into its operational character by the automated sensing system, and then go on to consider the traces of the visual that remain in the context of such ʻimagesʼ. I then consider the modality of governance that operates in the register of the operational image – one in which physical space becomes deformable at the granular, individual level. The resulting form of governance might be described as the deployment of a granular form of biopower – one that requires the milieu, or environment, to become deformable and customisable. This, of course, is the mode of power and control anticipated by those who seek to develop and capture the terrains of augmented and virtual reality – or, in more recent terminology, the realm of the “metaverse”.

Mark Andrejevic is Professor of Media Studies at Monash University, Australia. His research interests encompass digital media, surveillance and data mining in the digital era. He is particularly interested in social forms of sorting and automated decision-making associated with the online economy. He is the author of Automated MediaReality TV: The Work of Being WatchediSpy: Surveillance and Power in the Interactive Era, and Infoglut: How Too Much Information is Changing the Way We Think and Know. He recently co-edited a special issue in Cultural Studies entitled "Automated Culture".


Monday, January 23 at 5:00pm

University Memorial Center (UMC), 247
1669 Euclid Avenue, Boulder, CO 80309

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Students, Faculty, Graduate Students, Staff

College, School & Unit

Media, Communication and Information

CMCI: Media, Communication and Information

#Celebrate CMCI

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