Lossy Media: Queer Encounters with Infrastructure

Robert Payne
2018 Open Cultural Studies  
In an era of "frictionless" digital environments, this article proposes a queer analysis of the "lossy" materialities of mediated encounters. Building on recent scholarship on media failure and media infrastructures, it will argue that moments of disruption and deterioration commonly experienced by users reveal the failure of overlapping social and technical infrastructures to ensure lossless transmission of normative fantasies of subjectivity and mediated relationality. Highlighting the queer
more » ... lighting the queer instability of material assemblages, it will pay close attention to how the articulation of bodies, objects, and spaces in particular scenes of lossy encounter generates unplanned affective intensities which may disorient and undo the consuming subject. Borrowing the concept of lossy file compression and adapting it for this purpose, the article's broad aim is to offer a queer critical framework for inhabiting the contingent, emergent, and dissipating energies of media encounters beyond the capital-driven instrumentalisation of agency and the neoliberal imperatives of update culture.
doi:10.1515/culture-2018-0048 fatcat:j4psmqas5nenldf2e7rgbiddri