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Becoming NULL: Queer relations in the excluded middle

Abstract

This article investigates how computational media have come to shape the form and function of identity in contemporary society, suggesting that these technologies have conscripted users into systems of compulsory identification with or as a set of discrete categories for the purpose of value extraction largely divorced from or in direct contradiction with a radical politics of difference. The author suggests we must begin to imagine how queer theory and queer life might rearticulate themselves in ways that engage with and within technical systems, that is, to imagine a queer technics that is explicitly situated within the logic of information. Taking up this task, the essay proposes a queer politics of subtraction through an investigation of the now ubiquitous relational database management system known as SQL, suggesting its use of the NULL marker opens space for a queer indeterminacy.

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