Zoom Room: The Erasure of Public/Private Divides

This project is collaboration with Dr. Kalervo Sinervo at the University of Calgary on the phenomenon of zoom bombing and what it reveals about our understanding of public/private divides.

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

As a technology, Zoom reorganizes our relationship to work and public events, bringing both into our own homes and opening up our homes and private lives to the scrutiny of both. Now, a tool that grew from a specific enterprise-to-enterprise software to a household word that serves as the basis for SNL sketches and many if not most virtual public gatherings offers the opportunity for reflection on how it speaks to commodity fetishism, the performance of identity, and the thinning divide between your time and the company’s time.

Photo by Kevin Ku on Pexels.com

Zoombombing specifically demonstrates the dangerous fissures opened up by the widespread adoption of the platform and as the most visceral, sudden, and jarring kind of virtual violation. In short, zoombombing illustrates previously invisible changes to our understanding of the public versus the private. Furthermore, zoombombing is important to examine as each intrusion results in automatic reports, new forms of security and increased surveillance of users, thereby enacting a datafication of trauma that becomes fully commoditized like everything else.