King’s College London, Strand Campus, May 8th 2015

“Big Data” is a contested term describing the increasing pervasiveness of data generation, gathering and mining in our society. The unprecedented market success Facebook, Google, and related digital, media, and marketing corporations is predicated on Big Data. Furthermore, as demonstrated by the Snowden revelations on the NSA and GCHQ, Big Data also provides new means for mass surveillance. Yet, this is not the whole story. Data is a site of political struggle. Beyond its value to state and capital, Big Data affords myriad opportunities for new forms of creative and political engagement. Open data initiatives, information leaks, and data-driven cultural projects are but early steps toward more democratic uses of the data we generate in our everyday lives. This conference will explore the contested and multifaceted nature of the politics of Big Data, covering both critiques of existing data-driven power dynamics as well as possible alternatives.