[-empyre-] networked self and the netopticon

Simon Biggs s.biggs at eca.ac.uk
Thu Jan 27 02:19:00 EST 2011

Self and other are implicit in one another. They are mutually dependent. We
can never be alone but we can never be other. We do not exist at one end of
the relational dynamic (between self and other) or the other but along it,
constantly traversing what are many dynamic axes amongst numerous selves and
others. Our agency is therefore not a product of our object/subject-hood but
our becoming as an oscillation where terminal velocity, negative or
positive, is never reached.

Sorry - I don't want to get into metaphysics, but that's what this sounds
like. What I am trying to say is pragmatic. Bergson described it better...



On 26/01/2011 11:06, "De wraak van Baltassar Geraards" <ajaco at xs4all.nl>

> Considering the 'self' as a societal AND an experiential construct, is
> the active, generative part of it responsible for the constraints it
> puts on the whole i.e. pan/netopticonal effects of the extended self
> as a 'world' generating agens?
> And what are ways to overcome such an undesirable state of 'being' in
> that same prison of societal self experiencing?
> Are you trying to say that 'we' just have to live with it as part of
> our 'own' intended development as human beings? Or should we break the
> whole idea of SELF and concentrate on the OTHER instead?
> Just a few thoughts coming up reading your post
> Best
> Andreas Maria Jacobs
> w: http://www.nictoglobe.com
> w: http://burgerwaanzin.nl
> On 26 Jan 2011, at 11:20, "Simon Biggs" <s.biggs at eca.ac.uk> wrote:
>> I like the way you describe the fragmented and plural self here
>> Heidi. Very
>> much in tune with my own apprehension (and experience) of the subject.
>> In respect of the netopticon/panopticon as part of that - I have
>> always
>> found Freud's concept of the super-ego very useful in describing the
>> social
>> dimension of self (although I struggle with his concepts of id and
>> ego a
>> bit). If we accept that self is a negotiated state and that the
>> result is a
>> socially reflexive self (a super-ego) then I would argue you could
>> conflate
>> this with the idea of the panopticon/netopticon as an internalised
>> apparatus. In this regard it becomes difficult to consider a "self"
>> without
>> accepting the panoptic as an aspect of its ontology. This has both
>> positive
>> and negative implications...
>> Best
>> Simon
>> On 26/01/2011 00:57, "Heidi May" <mayh at ecuad.ca> wrote:
>>> *"As we hand over to next week, we do wonder whether and how
>>> individual responsibility is altered by being online and what effects
>>> that has on us all, whether at the hands of panoptic forces or
>>> not?"(Jon & Alison, Jan 22)*
>>> My interests with the networked self are influenced by Calvin
>>> Schrag's
>>> (1997) "The Self After Postmodernity," in which Schrag explores the
>>> self in discourse, the self in action, the self in community, and the
>>> self in transcendence. Although I am fascinated by this continual
>>> desire we have to connect with and understand the self, I do not
>>> believe a unitary self exists, however, I am not completely convinced
>>> that the self is constructed entirely by social forces...which is
>>> why,
>>> I guess, my work overall as a scholar/artist lies in-between the
>>> phenomenological and constructive, and (schizophrenically, perhaps)
>>> in-
>>> between the areas of art and education. To give you a little
>>> background about my own multiple selves...As an artist, I work at
>>> questioning and disrupting our relationships with technology in an
>>> attempt to think and see something through a different lens. As a
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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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