Chapter 7 Encountering the Law: Machinic and Theatrical Space in Criminal Prosecution

In: Legibility in the Age of Signs and Machines
Author:
Tessa de Zeeuw
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In this chapter, Tessa de Zeeuw discusses law’s machinic logic because of a case of criminal profiling that received much media attention in The Netherlands in 2016. Through an analysis of Alexander Galloway’s essay “Love of the Middle,” and Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Minority Report,” she distinguishes between machinic and hermeneutic medial aspects of criminal prosecution and points out the paradoxes in representing the logic of machines in narrative prose. The chapter proposes that theatrical works have the potential to interrupt the sovereign practices of law and to defamiliarize discourses of legitimation if they are performed in situ. In the case of criminal profiling, this potential would hinge on the work’s sensitivity to the spatial conditions of the encounter between individuals and the law’s machinic logic.…

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