Tag Archives: identity

Contesting the Nepticon – description

January on empyre soft-skinned space (you can join the list-serv discussion at http://www.subtle.net/empyre
* view archived discussion from January

Contesting the Netopticon
http://www.subtle.net/empyre

Moderated by Simon Biggs (UK/Australia) with invited discussants Joseph Delappe, Marc Garrett, Davin Heckman, Patrick Lichty, Heidi May, Christina Spiesel and Jon Thomson & Alison Craighead.

Dear empyre subscribers,

Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832) described an apparatus he termed the Panopticon, intended to condition the behaviour of subjects by disallowing them knowledge of whether they were being observed or not, causing them to fear they were. The space Bentham sought to control was the prison, seeking to replace capital punishment with a penal system focused on rehabilitation. Janet Semple’s study (Semple) evidences Bentham’s correspondence, suggesting an intent to establish for-profit penal institutions based on his Panoptic model.

George Orwell, in his novel 1984 (1949), evoked a state of perpetual government surveillance designed to crush deviation from mandated behaviour, seeking to implant the self-governing mechanism within the psyche of the
individual.

Michel Foucault employed Bentham’s conceptual framework as a motif for social order in an interpretation that has become an intellectual touchstone. In Foucault’s vision, mapped out in his seminal 1975 text “Discipline and Punish” (Foucault), the Panopticon extends far beyond the prison and manifests as a pervasive property of social space and relations, the dark matter of power relations. Continue reading

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Contesting the Netopticon

I’ve been invited to facilitate discussion on a forum this month in relation to the theme “Contesting the Netopticon” – the internet and the metaphor of panopticon. If you can think of any resources in relation to this topic, please let me know below. I am still considering the ideas I will pose for discussion (they will indeed relate to networked identity in some way, similar to ideas explored with/in Postself, but perhaps leaning more towards questions of control in relation to communication and exploration) so your contributions will be very much appreciated.

I will update you on the details once they are confirmed – it will take place between Jan 10-31 on empyre. Click here for the wikipedia description of empyre. 

Basically, it is hosted by Cornell University and each month the list focuses on a distinct theme with a small number of invited respondents posting their thoughts to encourage and facilitate debate. This month’s theme will be moderated by Simon Biggs (UK/Australia) with invited discussants Alison Craighead & Jon Thompson (UK), Davin Heckman (USA), Patrick Lichty (USA), Heidi May (me!) (Can) and Christina Spiesel (USA). I am extremely honoured (and a bit nervous) to be situated amongst such highly respected individuals.

So….
What is important to you when it comes to the internet, personal identity, surveillance, and control? What does Postself made us think about in terms of networked identity? How often do you feel watched when social networking, from someone besides the individual you are networking with? Or, has this sense of surveillance become invisible? At what moments do you think about it? At what moments do you tend to forget about it?

Please share…all ideas are welcome…I do not care about the language you use to express your thoughts…anything goes when brainstorming…

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Self Process Post Facebook

Is there a way of understanding the poetic construction of selfhood, as it occurs in autobiographical narration, while recognizing the passion, purpose, depth, and personal significance that frequently accompanies it, without positing that sort of autonomy Author-Origin enshrined in romantic thought? (Freeman, 1999, p. 110)

Human being, Gadamer argues, is a being in language. It is through language that the world is opened up for us. We learn to know the world by learning to master a language. Hence we cannot really understand ourselves unless we understand ourselves as situated in a linguistically mediated, historical culture. (Malpas, 2009)

Dude, fuck Facebook, seriously. (Stan, South Park episode, 2010).
…..

Well, I did it….I finally joined Facebook last month. Just in time for all the bad press the company is getting for privacy issues, too. I have resisted joining FB since it first emerged on the scene, but lurked under my husband’s profile for “research” purposes. I’ve decided to analyze this personal resistance, along with ongoing research into a philosophy of the self in a networked society. Selfpost | Postself is an ongoing project that explores not only the relationships between the above quotations, but the process of becoming a networked self and an understanding of the technologies we use in the process. Selfpost is the outing of my self to my many social networks within Facebook, adhering to a personal manifesto; Postself is the documentation of this experience on a blog that contains autobiographical musings filled with critical inquiry. This piece is also linked to a Facebook page on which the blog postings are imported and discussions are created by both the artist and participants, in order to instigate critical reflection from within the network itself. Continue reading

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