[-empyre-] closing down our discussion for May

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Mon Jun 2 11:10:11 EST 2014

If any of you missed this article in the New York Times this morning on

the National Security Agency's recent initiatives in mining not just text
data but images that social media, mails, texts, and even video
conferencing may provide. Mining the images has producing according to the
article 55,000 "facial recognition quality images."  I presume that is to
mean 55,000 that were used to pinpoint the identities and information
about the individuals for whom they were able to assimilate also
intelligence information.

Interestingly this information was revealed in a Snowden document. Geert's
assertion earlier this month that politics specifically Snowden's
revelations has changed the heart of media theory.
"While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now
considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as
important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other
intelligence targets, the documents show."

The article continues:
"It is not clear how many people around the world, and how many Americans,
might have been caught up in the effort. Neither federal privacy laws nor
the nation's surveillance laws provide specific protections for facial
images. Given the N.S.A.'s foreign intelligence mission, much of the
imagery would involve people overseas whose data was scooped up through
cable taps, Internet hubs and satellite transmissions."

This month has not really resolved for me where the future path of media
studies and theory us but has opened a few possibilities that
Excommunication presents.

Many thanks to Geert Lovink and Alex Galloway for joining us and for Ken
Warke for adding to the discussion at the end of the month.

Many thanks -empyre subscribers both participants and lurkers.
Renate Ferro

On 5/29/14 10:44 PM, "Renate Terese Ferro" <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:

>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>Many thanks Ken for adding this distinction between your own thoughts on
>Ex-Communication and that of Alex and Eugene.  The book raises provocative
>possibilities for media theory but I feel that I am a bit more confused on
>this point that you make:
>Ken wrote
>I think its time to end the attempts by philosophy to control
>xenocommuncation, the communication to the absolute. Rather, i think media
>theory is that theory of the reality of media itself, of how media make
>sensation, not out of nothing, not totally determined by the social or the
>political or the discursive or whatever. But rather the media that are of
>interest now are those which render the nonhuman perceptible via an
>What specifically do you mean that media theory is that theory of the
>reality of media itself?  How can the sensational not be determined by the
>social or the discursive especially in our age of social-media?
>Carol-Anne also gives a "performative" example of the X as political.
>She writesŠ. 
>If each project's "x" becomes every person's responsibility, we have a
>crack at political "authority".
>Her social practice seems to be in direct opposition to what the three of
>you are writing about or perhaps not?
>I guess it would be interesting to know if the three of you could cite
>artist's that you feel may have helped you formulate Ex-communication?
>On 5/27/14 9:01 PM, "warkk" <warkk at newschool.edu> wrote:
>>----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>empyre forum
>empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au

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