For the final project I would like to compare the chapter entitled, “Dataveillance and Coutervailance”, from Rita Raley’s book, Raw Data, and Irwin Winkler’s 1995 film, The Net, starring Sandra Bullock. I will argue that these two works share the same purpose of serving as a warning so that we may pay attention to the rapid shift in the methods used by society to judge us, as well as our growing dependency on the systems these methods have created, and the trust we are placing in them. Both works take different approaches to giving this warning; Raley provides a real-life look into the subtle ways in which our data is gathered, often unknowingly, while Winkler gives a fictional look at potential, albeit extreme, consequences of a society which believes that “the computer doesn’t lie”. However, both works share the same reason for giving this warning, which is that “The data body is the body by which you are judged in society, and the body which dictates your status in the world. What we are witnessing at this point in time is the triumph of representation over being.” – Critical Art Ensemble
In order to support my analysis, in addition to text and the three required scholarly sources, a variety of charts and/or graphs representing actual statistics of data-gathering and data-mining trends over time, news clips of actual incidents which have occurred as a result of data-gathering and related practices, as well as scenes directly from The Net, will be used. I would also like to incorporate some sort of interactive demo that gives a better understanding of cookies and how they work, however, I’m not yet sure how best to go about this or if I will use the idea at all. In lieu of an interactive demo I would illustrate the same information with a one or more static images. The containing multimedia file will be something highly portable, such as a PDF, or something that is easy to create, such as a PowerPoint document. Although, this decision will depend on unforeseen limitations, if they are encountered.