More on the "Data as Exhaust" Metaphor

Research paper: Gavin J.D. Smith, "Surveillance, Data and Embodiment: On the Work of Being Watched," Body and Society, January 2016.

Abstract: Today's bodies are akin to 'walking sensor platforms'. Bodies either host, or are the subjects of, an array of sensing devices that act to convert bodily movements, actions and dynamics into circulative data. This article proposes the notions of 'disembodied exhaust' and 'embodied exhaustion' to conceptualise processes of bodily sensorisation and datafication. As the material body interfaces with networked sensor technologies and sensing infrastructures, it emits disembodied exhaust: gaseous flows of personal information that establish a representational data-proxy. It is this networked actant that progressively structures how embodied subjects experience their daily lives. The significance of this symbiont medium in determining the outcome of interplays between networked individuals and audiences necessitates that it is carefully contrived. The article explores the nature and function of the data-proxy, and its impact on social relations. Drawing on examples that depict individuals engaging with their data-proxies, the article suggests that managing a virtual presence is analogous to a work relation, demanding diligence and investment. But it also shows how the data-proxy operates as a mode of affect that challenges conventional distinctions made between organic and inorganic bodies, agency and actancy, mortality and immortality, presence and absence.

Posted on February 29, 2016 at 6:17 AM • 6 Comments

Comments

Clive RobinsonFebruary 29, 2016 8:00 AM

Hmm,

... it emits disembodied exhaust: gaseous flows of personal information ...

It sounds like the human version of "methane fixation of bovine waste" [1]

However once you get past the language recycling it does start to make sense in a "you are what you do" sort of way.

However the maintaining of seperate data proxies for the unrelated and semirelated roles you have in life needs to be examined in a way that woukd be of use to individuals outside of the field of endevor.

[1] which is basicaly the use of bacteria to "digest" cattle muck and in the proces extraction of methane for fuel and water and digested matter as a either slurry or dry matter for fertilizer. Which is more effeicient that the current third world drying and burning on semi ipen cooking fires.

Blah blahFebruary 29, 2016 10:31 AM

Only needs slight tweaking to:

"As the government bodies interface with the internet, they emit disembodied exhaust: gaseous flows of personal information that establish a representational data-proxy."

Like this?

https://fbidhs.thecthulhu.com/

The information followng has already been leaked into the public domain, and consequently seems to have been taken down along with Cryptobin.

MarkFebruary 29, 2016 11:06 AM

Hi et al

am looking for a job, with a company that is loyal and supportive to it's employee's, supportive in their medical conditions, independent of government control by intelligence agencies or political interference initiated by foreign interests.

www.foocrypt.net

Mark MayerFebruary 29, 2016 12:13 PM

@Clive Robinson

However the maintaining of seperate data proxies for the unrelated and semirelated roles you have in life needs to be examined in a way that woukd be of use to individuals outside of the field of endeavor

It does seem to contradict the impulse towards self-actualization and existential authenticity (by data proxy) outlined by Maslow and/or the Existentialists.
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@Mark
Probably the wrong place for an advert. Maybe you'd have better luck on the recurring Friday Squid Post.
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You can wear a mask, but your farts will smell the same.

AlanSMarch 2, 2016 8:37 AM

This turgid piece appears to come out of the "surveillance studies" literature, a literature that spends a lot of time expanding or critiquing the panopticon metaphor in Foucault's Discipline and Punish, coming up with new metaphors (liquid, gas, etc), and completely ignoring Foucault's own positioning of panopticism and the elaboration of other types of surveillance and governance in his late-1970s lectures. See in particular, the first three chapters of Security, Territory, Population. For a further elaboration of where Foucault might have gone with this if he'd lived into the age of Google etc. see Exposed: Desire and Disobedience in the Digital Age.

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