Kris Fallon: “Who’s Data Anyway?”

October 3, 4:00-6:00pm, 126 Voorhies Hall

Even as the US Government tracks and prosecutes data leakers and whistleblowers such as Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, average Americans continue creating and curating personal data streams that intentionally reveal vast amounts information to both the general public and private corporations alike.  On one hand these varying approaches to data management seem to map onto traditional attitudes about individual liberty and government accountability. On the other hand, however, both approaches reveal an implicit faith in the ability of data to accurately account for and represent the inner complexity of individual identity.  But what picture of the subject can data offer, and what do such assumptions reveal about the individuals and institutions who hold them? And who does this data subject rightfully belong to?

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Kris Fallon is Visiting Assistant Professor in Digital Cultures at UC Davis. He holds a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in film and digital media, and his research focuses on non-fiction visual culture across a range of platforms, from still photography to data visualization.  His essays on digital technology and documentary have recently appeared in Film Quarterly and Screen, and are forthcoming in several edited anthologies.