With characteristic eye for detail, Beer examines what we often overlook when talking about data: the values and ideals embedded in it by the industries that collect and process it, and how this affects our lives.
David Beer's The Data Gaze is a remarkable achievement. The demand for data is today's ultimate appeal to truth, objectivity, and efficacy. Beer takes a step back, and questions how the appeal to data has gained such social currency. In meticulous and searching work, combining close attention to corporate data practices and theoretical rigor, he exposes the stakes of the data gaze's demand for a total description of our actions, aspirations, potential, and politics.
“The Data Gaze is a welcome diagnostic for the data and data analytics central to the functioning of contemporary capitalism and capitalist society. Finding inspiration in Foucault’s ‘clinical gaze’ Beer critically evaluates the visions, infrastructures and practices that facilitate what is said with data. It will be a vital resource for anyone who seeks to question the power to speak with our data.”
David Beer in his latest offering further unravels the thread started in his previous work Metric Power (2016)...Beer breaks free from the academic interview-findings-analysis triptych and boldly does as the data gaze does. Everything is data which one can draw from, and so Beer draws from an astounding array of sources that simply float around us: marketing materials, press interviews, audio-visual snippets, all are drafted in and interpreted.
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