Theorizing the Web
April 7-8, 2017 Museum of the Moving Image, New York, NY
“Queer Temporality and the Performance of Risk”
The increasing popularity of Snapchat and other platforms for ephemeral media distribution reflects a turn away from the personal archive, both as a source of social pleasure and as a strategy for digital monetization. Rather than frame this turn primarily through the desire for privacy, I look at this shift as the emergence of new forms of digital intimacy in an increasingly mediated age. Building on a long history of queer theoretical moves to complicate simple and binary distinctions between public and private, I show how changing notions of privacy have historically been linked to gendered and sexual norms. Rather than assuming a commonly held understanding of the private, queer theories of intimacy allow for an understanding of privacy that is lived, interactional and affective and suggest a more complicated play of display and withholding motivating interest in the digital ephemeral.
Queer Circuits in Archival Times: Experimentation and Critique of Networked Data
May 20-21, 2016 New York, NY
Queer Circuits in Archival Times is a two day conference dedicated to using queer epistemological frames to engage with digital media and the archival. Encompassing academic panels, film screenings, workshops, discussion groups, performance, digital projects and a party, Queer Circuits is an interdisciplinary showcase of scholarship, art and activism.
Day one, held at the CUNY Graduate Center on Friday May 20th, focuses on academic work and consists of four panels and a keynote address by Sandy Stone. The tentative topics explored by the panels include “Queer Data, Queer Method,” “The Politics of Queer Archives,” “Deathly or Inhuman? Queer Life and the Biopolitics of the Digital,” and “Really Gay: Social Circuits of Sex and Identity.” Day two will be held at a variety of locations throughout the city, including The New York Public Library and other spaces TBA and include a curated screening Bradford Nordeen of Dirty Looks, conversations curated by Ted Kerr and Grace Dunham, performances, workshops and more.
“Queer capitalism and digital sociality”
Building on work that looks to understand the long history of selective minoritarian incorporation into logics of capital accumulation and state violence, this paper will look at proprietary social media as having queerly digitized and monetized sociality, contributing to the undermining of queer critique and the upending of queer life. Departing from notions of “social media” that put these digital platforms in stark opposition to queerness, I’ll highlight how networks like Facebook have built a variety of queer notions of relationality into the core of their product. While capitalism’s metabolism for queer difference predates the social internet, it has only proliferated in the digital age, where value accumulates in the thin slices of nimbly rearranged “communities.” By both defining and operationalizing community in the digital age, social media has made queer sociality affectively experienced as labor, even if cognitively we understand our activities as recreational and voluntary.