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    Unsettling the 'friendly' gaze of dataveillance: the dissident potential of mediatised aesthetics in Blast Theory's Karen

    Ilter, Seda (2017) Unsettling the 'friendly' gaze of dataveillance: the dissident potential of mediatised aesthetics in Blast Theory's Karen. International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media 13 (1), pp. 77-92. ISSN 1479-4713.

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    What are the artistic languages and forms that can be used to make sense of the larger-than-human scale of big data and engage with its ideological machinery? How can theatre and performance in a mediatised culture disclose the performativity of dataveillance and open spaces for thinking differently and critically about it? Blast Theory’s interactive, virtual theatre piece Karen (2015), which is formed through a smart-phone app and is communicated individually to its participants on their phones, addresses such questions. Karen is designed to mine data from the participants, which is then used to profile each of them through a personalised data report. Blast Theory’s piece, on the one hand, offers a familiar, interactive and participatory experience, generating a sense of agency and control. On the other hand, it reminds the participants that they are not in control of their own data by making the familiar experience strange and subverting the performativity of surveillance. Drawing on and combining the notions of mediatisation and info-aesthetics, this article argues that through its ‘mediatised aesthetics’ Karen provokes critical recognition, challenging our habitual understandings of data surveillance, and illustrates a paradigm-in-progress to explore the new aesthetics of the mediatised age.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis, available online at the link above.
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Seda Ilter
    Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2017 10:46
    Last Modified: 10 Jun 2021 00:57


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