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Creepy Glitches: Data, Desire and Domestic Work

With Dr Kavita Dattani
16 May 2023
With Dr Kavita Dattani

There is growing scholarly and industry concern with a thing called data. Kavita argues that the question of data is fundamentally a feminist question. In this talk Kavita draws on the work of feminist thinkers to take up the ‘creepy glitch’ as a framework to illuminate techno-masculinist normativities in data systems, and to find opportunities for disruption. In one example from Dr Dattani’s research on digital dating apps in Mumbai, the political category of the ‘creep’ emerges as a glitchy figure to keep away from the digital spaces of dating. In a second example from Kavita’s research on the platform economy of domestic work in New Delhi, the glitch emerges as a creepy failure of the economy to take off, despite the odds. Through these examples, Dr Dattani argues that the ‘creepy glitch’ embodies a politics of refusal of (big) data systems that bring phenomena into being, that overestimate and that marginalise. It helps us reimagine erratum, corrections to the machine, against the grain of violent data systems.