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
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
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
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.
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…