Openness and Opacity: An Interview with Clare Birchall
In this follow-up interview to her keynote lecture at the MeCCSA-PGN 2015 Conference in Coventry, Clare Birchall discusses the “sharing economy”, “shareveillance” and the depoliticised subjectivity shaped by both open and opaque data. In order to re-imagine subjectivity in the face of shareveillance, Birchall calls on Édouard Glissant’s “right to opacity”. Ultimately, she explains how the concept of “sharing” can be politicised as a Commons, while the appropriation of opacity can become a political act. Her reassessment of the politics and values associated with openness and secrecy has implications for media scholars, particularly in terms of the need to think more critically about what kinds of publishing, networks and communications we want to develop.