[-empyre-] digital tools

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Sun Feb 11 15:34:34 AEDT 2018

Ana wrote: 
Our digital tools give us the illusion of transparency and visibility but instead we live in a giant panopticon where every gesture and word are monitored and watched.
Hi Ana, 
How appropriate to have you as our special guest this week.  Your writing practice has reflected changes and shifts in technology throughout the past 35 years.  You were an early contributor to –empyre- and on twitter you have 5,624 followers and you follow 6,166 today.  I am really looking forward to hearing about the reflections of your political voice within your early writing and if you were ever fearful about being so open?  How do you think your voice has shifted over the years?  The philosopher Jean Francois Lyotard was known to refuse to type his manuscripts on a computer because he felt that the sense of the pen and writing on paper changed the way he wrote.  It was only towards the end of his life when he finally gave in and used the computer to compose his texts.  He with many others had a distrust of the tools of technology.  In addition to Virillio, I am reminded by Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle, another text that reflects critical judgment on the spectacle of consumer society which certainly includes our obsession with electronics. 
I will add finally that I am very sorry to hear about the death of John Perry Barlow.  Barlow was never a contributor to –empyre- as far as I can tell but I was familiar with his writing career.  
Looking forward to hearing more about your experiences. 
Thanks Ana, 

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

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