Origin Stories, Surveillance, and Digital Alter Egos

in Screen Bodies
Author:
Sarah YoungErasmus University young@eshcc.eur.nl

Search for other papers by Sarah Young in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

The origin story is an important element for any superhero/villain, as it provides context for a character’s seemingly out-of-this-world abilities. A radioactive spider bit Spiderman, and the Penguin was bullied in his youth. It can also be beneficial for surveillance scholars, inasmuch as it provides context for a once invisible but superhuman body of digital information that circulates as a proxy for us in digital milieus. This body is best understood through contemporary surveillance practices, yet metaphors of the panopticon and George Orwell’s 1984 proliferate in the surveillant imagination. I argue here that mapping an origin story onto a view of our data as a superhuman body not only creates a tangible representation of surveillance, but it also emphasizes and animates alternative surveillance theories useful for circulation in the surveillant imagination.

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 237 110 7
Full Text Views 57 3 0
PDF Downloads 77 7 0