Since at least the nineteenth century seriality and serialization have been among the most important formal and narrative strategies for popular media cultures and their negotiations with the radical changes brought on by industrialization and new communication technologies. Nothing less is at stake in popular seriality than the material and spatiotemporal ordering of the phenomenal world, with far-reaching political consequences. However, in an age of computation, predictive algorithms, and “personalized” media, the parameters of serialization are massively transformed. And because media forms and social formations are tightly intertwined, this transformation—or the shift from an “old” to a “new” form of seriality—brings with it crucial changes and uncertainties with respect to subjective and collective existence going forward. Centrally at stake in the new seriality is a set of techniques and technologies that aim to predictively “typify” subjects and preformat them vis-à-vis normative and statistically correlated categories of gender and race, among others. This article lays the groundwork for thinking seriality as a sociotechnics of typification, the scope and power of which is greatly expanded by algorithmic media.

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