No (Big) Data, No Fiction? Thinking Surveillance With/Against Netflix

SAETNAN, A. R., SCHNEIDER, I. & GREEN, N. (eds.) The Politics and Policies of Big Data: Big Data Big Brother? London: Routledge [Forthcoming]

25 Pages Posted: 17 Feb 2018

See all articles by Rocco Bellanova

Rocco Bellanova

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Gloria González Fuster

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB); Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR)

Date Written: January 1, 2018

Abstract

Surveillance Studies often look at cultural products as pedagogical or heuristic devices, as if they were windows into the popular representation of surveillance practices. However, artworks may also be the (by-)products of consumers' surveillance. Online platforms like Netflix harvest vast amounts of data about clients' behaviour, so to predict their interests and produce more successful, profitable creations. In this chapter, we discuss how to think about surveillance with and against Netflix, focusing on the tensions between databases and narratives, and between politics and data-driven fiction. We explore how surveillance practices are both presented and performed when Big Data gleaned from viewers is used to tailor-script a series questioning mass surveillance, such as House of Cards. We argue that surveillance then displays itself as an embodied and transformative experience. While viewers can figure its inner workings in a more concrete manner, they are, at the same time, turned into data-breeding publics.

Keywords: surveillance, data, Netflix, House of Cards, fiction, publics, Big Data, Big Brother

Suggested Citation

Bellanova, Rocco and González Fuster, Gloria, No (Big) Data, No Fiction? Thinking Surveillance With/Against Netflix (January 1, 2018). SAETNAN, A. R., SCHNEIDER, I. & GREEN, N. (eds.) The Politics and Policies of Big Data: Big Data Big Brother? London: Routledge [Forthcoming]. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3120038

Rocco Bellanova (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR) ( email )

Amsterdam Roeterseilandcampus
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018 WV
Netherlands

Gloria González Fuster

Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) ( email )

Pleinlaan 2
http://www.vub.ac.be/
Brussels, 1050
Belgium

Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR) ( email )

41 Gran Vía del Rey Juan Carlos I
La Rioja, 26002
Spain

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