Forms of binding: On data and not ‘fitting in’


Small data is often invoked as an antidote to the aggregative logic of big data which binds the world into a whole through the combination of discrete bits of information. This essay suggests that small and big data actually complement each other, particularly since the former refines (rather than challenges) the logic of the latter. If data binds individuals and the social into a relational whole, how can we begin to comprehend the desire to break free of such a relation? At a time when relation has become common sense – we are told to be social, network, and connect – is there any hope of locating a space away from the informational bind of relation? The essay historicises these questions by conceptualising moments when the relational bind of data frays ever so slightly to allow some relief from the landscape of big and small data. In so doing it engages Nigel Thrift’s concept of qualculation, Georges Canguilhem’s work on abnormality, and Ian Hacking’s examination of the taming of chance.

Download icon

Published in:

Preferred Citation
Gupta-Nigam, Anirban: Forms of binding: On data and not ‘fitting in’. In: NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 5 (2016), Nr. 1, S. 111-130. DOI: 10.25969/mediarep/3350.
 author = {Gupta-Nigam, Anirban},
 title = {Forms of binding: On data and not ‘fitting in’},
 year = 2016,
 doi = {10.25969/mediarep/3350},
 volume = 5,
 address = {Amsterdam},
 journal = {NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies},
 number = 1,
 pages = {111--130},
license icon

As long as there is no further specification, the item is under the following license: Creative Commons - Namensnennung - Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitungen