Capitalism is very sneaky. It worms its way into popular culture texts, imbuing each static image that is utilized in the creation of the moving image with particular inscriptions of images that either uphold the dominant paradigm or subvert it. More often than not, our mass-marketed, industry created, popularly received media feeds us not only societal norms, but also informs us how and what we should purchase. Choice acts as a double edged sword in this ever changing, expanding/expansionless space/non-space. As every new form of technology that creates more opportunities for “choice” for the viewer also comes with the caveat that Lisa Parks outlines in her essay that we read on page 134. In it she states that with the emergence of further choice that the Internet brings the typical television viewer it also “allows programmers to determine more accurately where and when viewers are in the media landscape. In a sense, personal television makes every PC a Nielsen Household.” In saying this, there is more of a reason for Industry creators to put their content on the Internet, and to disseminate it in this way to understand the specifics of their audience to a scale that they had not had before to determine how many, where they were tuning in from, and even potentially the demographics of their background (class, gender, race, etc) which would in turn help them to better market their products to people that they would feel would be more inclined to purchase them. While Parks goes on to talk about the “mobile privatization” of Williams, and the further idea of “privatized mobility” that Lynn Spigel brings to the table, what I wondered about was the ways in which users were subverting these digital signatures to gain access to content without leaving digital foot prints through mobilizing their bodies, technology, and agency through the physical space of Reality versus the projected non-space of the Digital.
If the medium of television is, as Parks claims, on the path where the public will be able to see it whenever and wherever they want (can we say we’ve reached this point in 2016? I would argue yes but would love to hear some other opinions) it is interesting to consider the ways in which some viewers, consumers, and makers are subverting the system that wants to commodify their existences through the media that they consume. Speaking specifically of the existence of dead drops, of USB's with media content left in the world for individuals to find, upload and download content without the use of the Internet, I wonder if we'll see more rebellion against the status quo of data-mining that happens often unchecked. To end on a string of questions regarding audiences: What do we make of the subversion of typical media viewership when the audience takes matters into their own hands and disseminates the product through downloads? How do we negotiate this secluded, private space that they have reclaimed? I'd be interested in bringing back the topic of the surveillance of individuals more prominently through their technology - thinking back again to the xBox 1 Kinect fiasco, where the device would be able to read facial expressions to better tailor their ads to the consumer, how do we negotiate this as humans? How deep does the rabbit hole go? Can choice be created without a monetary reasoning behind the shift for dominant corporate created industry typical media? I wonder how the emergence of the pirate/subversive audience will check Industry practices of curtailing their content towards an individual that is understood through a categorization of social markers created and based out of the comparison to, to quote Sylvia Wynter, a particular referent-we that emerged after the Enlightenment to purport white masculinity as the ideal to strive for. I wonder how audiences are refusing categorization through their subversive acts as a political one, and how does the digital break down nation-states and foster the creation of particular popular texts as ways to understand ourselves?