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