Joshua Glick considers the differentiation strategies of the streaming platforms in historical context.
The Streaming Symposium
This symposium seeks to use long-form criticism to fill the gaps around what we talk about when we talk about streaming. In the process, we have committed to pursuing a third way of thinking about the streaming landscape — a way that rejects the reactivity of media merger gossip and the passivity of mindless moving-image consumption. In their essays, writers Michelle Chihara, Jorge Cotte, Joshua Glick, Sun-ha Hong, Phillip Maciak, Michael Szalay, and Kristen Warner put media culture in historical and cultural context; detail the multisensorial and politically inflected aesthetics of streaming movies, television, podcasts, and fitness machines; analyze streaming practices as raced, gendered, sexed, and otherwise embodied; and interrogate our ideological ties to the data-driven narratives that share our air and live rent-free in our busy brains. This collection is not a response to Netflix’s breathless, try-hard demand to “see what’s next.” It has, instead, been our shared purpose to slow down — just enough to see what’s now.
— Annie Berke
Edited by Annie Berke, Michelle Chihara, Phillip Maciak, and Anna Shechtman
Kristen Warner explores the “illusion [of] the democratizing, diverse ideal of streaming.”
On “The Underground Railroad,” illumination travels across media, refracting and shapeshifting.
Michelle Chihara explores the podcast form as a vehicle for corporate puffery masquerading as journalistic inquiry.
Phillip Maciak explores the extraordinary niche that “City of Ghosts” occupies in Netflix’s varied animated programming.
Sun-ha Hong deconstructs the “paradox of intimacy and disconnection” at the heart of the Peloton fitness brand.
Michael Szalay on what the rise of streaming platforms and their dark family dramas tell us about the US flagging empire.