Book part: On the Side of Non-Knowledge: Mistrust. Heinrich von Kleist’s THE DUEL on Big Data Curation
This paper historicizes the ambivalent discourse on data and communication transparency that is epidemic in digital cultures by confronting it with a reading of Kleist’s novella, THE DUEL (1811). In the medium of literature, conditions of possibility for the production of relevant and reliable knowledge on the basis of data are subject to analysis and critique. Basic operations of data processing have proven to be fallible and corrupted by media, which, instead of reducing complexity, deepen it. In contradistinction to the trust that reduces this complexity, The Duel performs an epistemology of mistrust, which insists on the polyvalence, dubiousness, agility, and ephemerality of the data from which truth is supposed to appear.