[-empyre-] the netopticon

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Sun Jan 16 04:05:05 EST 2011

Lifestyle is a good think to pick up on here. Normalisation is a key aspect
of the panoptic society. Whether it is expressed in fashion, pop, fads or
pathology (as in the case of lifestyle - the repetitious performative of
public existence) the desire of the individual to normalise is part of the
panoptic apparatus.

The standardisation of web interfaces and the subsequent standardisation of
how people present themselves on the net (eg: Facebook, blogs, Twitter, etc)
is, as Shoshan points out, how that self-governing panoptic dynamic operates
on the net. We all have our cyber-pathology and only a few are willing to
risk (or are unable to avoid) being a cyberpath.

For the past few years I've been arguing against a materialist
deconstruction of media (as was undertaken by early video artists,
deconstructing mass media, for example) as I've considered our culture, in a
post convergence era, to have moved to a situation where the focus should no
longer be the media but the conceptual and social territories that determine
how media exist as social spaces (eg: cinema is still cinema, a mode of
making and experiencing stuff, but it is no longer film). However, with the
standardisation of web protocols that govern social interaction and
therefore social formation, we see media determining social space. Perhaps
it is, again, time to undertake a materialist deconstruction of a
post-convergent media in order to challenge the normalising protocols of the
net. This implies artists, once again, as they did in the early development
of the internet, could usefully develop new protocols for their work,



On 15/01/2011 15:17, "marc garrett" <marc.garrett at furtherfield.org> wrote:

> Hi Johannes & all,

I have been thinking about some of your comments ...

> probably (not sure what others here think?) will
 >need to reflect on my own
> behaviors vis a vis networked
 >communications, and whether it's sustainable
> to to be
 >online at all times, and why there is such pressure
 >to be
> accessed (by mails and information) at all times,
 >and whether it's good for
> the health to be
 >accessible at all.

Unfortunately, literalization of
> (perceived) personal freedoms, or 
rather socially engineered evolution
> through commercial means; has 
brought about a conflict between the (supposed)
> freedom of the 
individual, against self-discipline and advancement through
self-education. Where people base their localized decisions and 
> interactions as 'lifestyle' decisions. When I hear the word 
'lifestyle' on
> the television, newspapers or verbally, a shiver enters 
my spine. Because I
> am instantly reminded of where this phrase 
originally came from - the
> American public relations and propagandist, 
Edward Bernays. "Combining the
> ideas of Gustave Le Bon and Wilfred 
Trotter on crowd psychology with the
> psychoanalytical ideas of his 
uncle, Dr. Sigmund Freud, Bernays was one of
> the first to attempt to 
manipulate public opinion using the subconscious."

And if anyone has seen the
> excellent documentary 'The Century of the 
Self' by Adam Curtis, "a British
> television documentary film that 
focuses its attention on Sigmund Freud's
> family,? ?especially his 
daughter and nephew,? ?who exerted a surprising
> amount of influence on 
the way corporations and governments throughout the?
> ?20th century have 
thought about,? ?and dealt with,? ?people."
> n 
- they would immediately appreciate the issues we are all dealing with 
> respect of how we have (mainly in the western world) been mediated 
> onwards, in ways which spell out connections with the 
discussion around we
> are currently engaged with regading the panoptic 
state, and now the extra
> quandry, agreed as being the netoptican.

Another link -

Reflecting on our behaviours - perhaps this can be expanded upon even
further than 'whether we go on-line or off-line'. To where our inner
psychologies can retune, re-purpose beyond denial of action, into 
> from the decision of 'negation'; into a more constructive and 
> enactment of pro-claimation; meaning that the 'materiality' of 
our lives can
> be reclaimed not just by virtual means but by physical 
means also. After all,
> shallowness is not stupidity, it is a decision. 
And if this is true, then in
> some sense we can make better decisions and 
change the 'materiality' of life
> at various levels, through our actions 
by incorporating an approach towards a
> sustainability of common values 
which are not reliant in supporting
> neoliberalist defaults. This 
conscious shift alone is like recognizing an
> addiction, a dependency 
which we all know in our hearts is not a nourishing
> form of consumption, 
mentally, physically or socially.

I am still writing
> another another post in response to some of your 
other questions.

> you well.

> forum
empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

Simon Biggs
simon at littlepig.org.uk

s.biggs at eca.ac.uk

Edinburgh College of Art (eca) is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC009201

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