2017 ~ Sunday May 21: ROAMING ASSEMBLY #14 ~ TOWARDS ENTANGLED MODES OF BECOMING MORE: ‘Informatic Opacity’ ~ by Zach Blas

| tag: Eindhoven

Informatic Opacity

by Zach Blas

This talk queries how the demand for the right to opacity that Édouard Glissant so passionately championed continues in struggles against security and control today. When considering biometric technologies or pattern-of-life analytics, reductive and disembodied algorithmic processes are deployed, so as to capture an objective truth of persons in order to eliminate risk. Such technologies transform embodied lives and relationalities into discrete and universal mathematical formalisms—what Glissant might term transparencies, a kind of barbarism. As such, an exit from security and control is imagined, through an entangling of two theoretical concepts: Glissant’s opacity and Donna Haraway’s “informatics of domination.” The resultant term “informatic opacity” operates as a minoritarian outside that may offer a more collective and transformative approach for resisting surveillance today, rather than the limiting politics of privacy. Indeed, as Gilles Deleuze reminds us, “The outside is always an opening on to a future…”