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HTNM Revisited: Jennifer Holt

TDPS PhD candidate Megan Hoetger shares the highlights of the History and Theory of New Media’s lecture with Jennifer Holt on “Cloud Policy.”

ThumbnailLast Thursday, October 2nd, Professor Jennifer Holt of UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Film and Media Studies got the fourth annual History and Theory of New Media Lecture Series started with a bang. As we sat in the Geballe Room in Stephens Hall at UC Berkeley, the net neutrality hearings in Washington raged on, deciding the future of open access internet and the course of democracy in a networked age. These are certainly the stakes that underwrote Professor Holt’s talk, entitled “Cloud Policy: Connected Viewing, Data Security, and the Future of Media Regulation,” but the majority of the lecture took a step back, introducing the audience to the complex discursive and infrastructural fields within which ‘the cloud’ circulates. Taking us into the aesthetic worlds of the data center, from the vast horizons of the U.S. heartland, to the snowy underground bunkers of Sweden, Holt explored the paradoxical connections between transparency and concealment in the recent visualizations of the infrastructure undertaken by places like Google and Bahnhof. She then went on to look at more statistical data, like the environmental impacts of such data centers, transitioning at a certain point into surveillance and policy issues, like the rise of Identity Service Providers (we think of them as social media platforms) and the viability of a global policy sphere. Covering a lot of territory in short amount of time and bridging gaps between lawyers, economists, artists, policymakers and media critics along the way, Holt’s talk foregrounded their—OUR—shared investments in distribution governance.

If you couldn’t make it out last Thursday, make sure to join us for the second talk of the series on Thursday, November 13th at 5:00pm in the BCNM Commons when Professor Fred Turner from Stanford University’s Department of Communication will present “Cold War Multimedia.”

Check out the slideshow below for photos from the event, and stay tuned for the video and audio podcasts!

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