According to the most extensive online index of “pre-categorised cookies”, approximately, 36,816,705 cookies circulate the World Wide Web and personal computing devices of which one percent are identified as ‘strictly necessary’.[1] Notwithstanding this extraordinary scale, the cookie is just one of a plethora of online tracking techniques implemented through the technical protocols and infrastructures of the World Wide Web. Engaging the internet cookie as a starting point we will investigate contemporary online surveillance infrastructures from socio-political, cultural and sounding perspectives. Media scholars such as Mark Andrejevic have observed an historical shift in surveillance infrastructures from the symbolic to the post-representational. Furthermore, the web browser as an interface to the web functions to conceal ubiquitous, automated algorithmic surveillance operating at scales that exceed human comprehension. Considering this contemporary context we will investigate how sound and listening might provide a means for tangibly experiencing some of these otherwise obscured technologies. Theory intersects surveillance studies, media studies, critical algorithmic theory and sound studies.
[1] See Cookiepedia,, accessed January 13, 2021.

Semester: SoSe 2022