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RESISTING SOVEREIGN SURVEILLANCE: 
AN ACTIVIST AGENDA FROM THE INCARCERATED 
Jessa Lingel + Aram Sinnreich | October 2014
ASCETICS, ASKESIS, ACTIVISM 
Askesis – “an exercise of self upon self by which one tries 
to work out, to transform one’s ...
HUNGER STRIKES AND ASKESIS?
MEDIA REFUSAL AS COUNTER CONDUCT
POLITICS OF LEGIBILITY
AESTHETICS OF POLITICS
ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 
1. Argot Network Society Equivalents 
• 1337 
• Geek-speak 
• TXTing language 
• LOLca...
ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 
2. Tap Codes Network Society Equivalent 
• Mesh networks
ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 
3. Textual Encryption Network Society Equivalents 
• Digital Encryption
ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 
4. Smuggling Network Society Equivalents 
• VPNs 
• Proxy servers 
• Steganography
INCODIFICATION 
You are here 
Incarceration 
You are here 
Incodification
COMMENTS + FEEDBACK? 
jlingel@microsoft.com | jessalingel.tumblr.com 
sinn@rutgers.edu | aram.sinnreich.com 
Download the ...
Resisting Sovereign Surveillance: an activist agenda from the Incarcerated
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Resisting Sovereign Surveillance: an activist agenda from the Incarcerated

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Presentation made by Jessa Lingel and Aram Sinnreich at the Internet Research 15 Conference in Daegu, Korea, 10/23/14.

Full draft of the article is available at http://j.mp/incodification.

Presentation audio: https://soundcloud.com/original-sinn/incodification_ir15

Abstract:

This paper reviews penal history in order to consider forms of resistance to mass surveillance. Because experiences of surveillance are endemic to incarcerated life, identifying tactics of resistance among these populations provides valuable insights for potential forms of counter-conduct in other circumstances of ubiquitous monitoring. We focus on three forms of protest: hunger strikes, alternate communication networks and viral dance videos, which we frame through Foucault’s theory of askesis. We introduce the term incodification as a means of describing conditions of continuous surveillance ingrained into infrastructures of everyday life, even as these conditions give rise to tactics of resistance like those identified in this paper. Our objective in introducing this term, and with our analysis as a whole, is to provoke theoretical and activist projects that account for and subvert infrastructures of incodification.

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Resisting Sovereign Surveillance: an activist agenda from the Incarcerated

  1. 1. RESISTING SOVEREIGN SURVEILLANCE: AN ACTIVIST AGENDA FROM THE INCARCERATED Jessa Lingel + Aram Sinnreich | October 2014
  2. 2. ASCETICS, ASKESIS, ACTIVISM Askesis – “an exercise of self upon self by which one tries to work out, to transform one’s self and to attain a certain mode of being” - Foucault (1998).
  3. 3. HUNGER STRIKES AND ASKESIS?
  4. 4. MEDIA REFUSAL AS COUNTER CONDUCT
  5. 5. POLITICS OF LEGIBILITY
  6. 6. AESTHETICS OF POLITICS
  7. 7. ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 1. Argot Network Society Equivalents • 1337 • Geek-speak • TXTing language • LOLcats/dogespeak • Memetic slang
  8. 8. ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 2. Tap Codes Network Society Equivalent • Mesh networks
  9. 9. ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 3. Textual Encryption Network Society Equivalents • Digital Encryption
  10. 10. ALTERNATIVE COMMUNICATION NETWORKS 4. Smuggling Network Society Equivalents • VPNs • Proxy servers • Steganography
  11. 11. INCODIFICATION You are here Incarceration You are here Incodification
  12. 12. COMMENTS + FEEDBACK? jlingel@microsoft.com | jessalingel.tumblr.com sinn@rutgers.edu | aram.sinnreich.com Download the article: j.mp/incodification

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