The Beast File: Google

On: March 17, 2010
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About Marc Stumpel
Marc Stumpel holds a MA degree in New Media from the University of Amsterdam. His main research interest is the antagonism within the political and economic dimensions of digital culture. Especially in relation to social media. Marc also holds the degree: Bachelor of Communication & Multimedia Design, Business & Organisation, Interactive Media at the Hoogeschool van Amsterdam (2005-2009). In addition to his academic work, Marc is a musician and producer under the alias of Zuurstof. Follow Marc on twitter: @Zuurstof

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This video, created for ‘Hungry Beast‘, a news program that airs in Australia on the ABC1, depicts Google as a dangerous, pretentious, ubiquitous and ever growing advertising giant: ‘building an empire on your street, in your phone, in your DNA, trying very hard not to be evil’.

The animation features most of Google’s services and portrays them as means to “own” every bit of personal information, and use it for advertising purposes. It exemplifies the “Googlization” of many industries and contexts in a compelling way, building towards an image of someone with a strong “force“.

The perspective, in which Google is conceived of as a growing “creep” that seeks to dominate many other industries and contexts, next to searching the Web, is nothing new. Googlization has been dealt with extensively by Siva Vaidhyanathan, Richard Rogers and others, critically examining the implications of Google’s actions.

Although the standpoint in this video might lack a nuanced view of Google’s mission, it draws attention to contemporary new media debates on privacy, surveillance, ownership and Google’s position in it. Moreover, this video attempts to denote the impact of Google’s ubiquities and actions.

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Graphics by Patrick Clair, written by Elmo Keep.

4 Responses to “The Beast File: Google”
  • March 19, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Privacy clearly means something different today compared to 100 years ago. But the fact that big companies only care for profit and not much else is not new at all. In that respect Google is the same as all other big companies.

  • March 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Cool ‘explanimation’ of Google’s practices, interesting to hear hear of the lawsuits against Buzz and the fact that the CEO says that if we don’t want our privacy breached we just shouldn’t do anything.. Nice reference to Star Wars, Darth Vader though :P.

  • May 12, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    [...] Masters of Media » The Beast File: Google [...]

  • October 27, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    lately i’ve been fascinated with the question of how to make google critique itself. the google chrome ‘ad by google’ accompanying the video is a nice way to start thinking about it.

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