Research seminar at DVMT May 11: Nikita Mazurov: Against the Stream: Netflix as Violent Adversary

On Thursday May 11, 13:15–14:00, Nikita Mazurov presents his research at the Institute of Computer Science and Media Technology, in NI:C0626.

Against the Stream: Netflix as Violent Adversary

This workshop will seek to interrogate the practice of streaming as a figuration of nonspatial destinerrance, wherein the cyber-utopian promise of unbridled data dissemination is defracted, via a culturalized repressive desublimation, into a boundless buffer state, ultimately never being allowed to reach its destination by virtue of never leaving its origin in the first place. In other words, the great triumph of streaming providers, the great lie of so-called Video on Demand services, is their ability to successfully market the myth that they provide content, whilst in actuality what they supply is precisely the lack thereof.
The resultant stream slurry, an endless erring of destinerrant media, intermittently reveals itself in the brutal congealment of cracked and bloodied bones, ripping through the otherwise seamless facade of the new flesh of on-demand video via its technophilic death throes in the forms of geo-IP based content restrictions and DRM playback injunctions, compatibility errors and buffer loops, and through the legal restraints of licensing restrictions and DMCA takedown notices.
These streaming practices or disservices, such as they are, constitute what may be collectively dubbed as the ‘Netflix Attack’ on data archival: a weaponized assault on guerrilla archivists who are viewed as a threat to the state-backed forces of centralized, monopolized control over cultural output. Netflix may thus here be seen to function as a violent adversary actively working to not merely supress the unbridled promulgation of information, but to render said supression desirable.
Following said analysis of the problematics of streaming media, the talk will then present an ethnographic explication of a myriad strategies guerrilla data archivists have deployed in the service of actualized data dissemination achieved via the contestation of streaming mythology, by going against the stream.