Surveillance, Sousveillance, and the Uncanny Domestic Architecture of Black Mirror
Addressing the extent to which contemporary screen culture and social media have become increasingly enmeshed with corporate and state-run surveillance technologies, I consider the ways in which Charlie Brooker’s dystopian anthology series Black Mirror posits data-mining and “sousveillance” as processes of uncanny domestic architecture. By way of these technologies, the subject is depicted as “dwelling” within virtual realities constructed by streams of information culled from social media platforms and “smart” devices. That the materials for these architectures have been willingly generated by the subject suggests the internalisation of the panoptical eye, as well as an architecture of control existing neither inside nor outside traditional architecture but, more sinisterly, in topological and symbiotic collusion with it. Black Mirror suggests that our virtual selves have lives of their own, existences realised through self-surveillance, identities “housed” within forms of architecture that uncannily unsettle conventional notions of self, place, and home.
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