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Psychological economy of surveillance

  • Voyeurism: erotic
  • Cinematic gaze: scopophilic
  • Guilt, shame, taboo: we shouldn't be looking
  • Anger, resentment: we don't want to be watched
  • Exhibitionism: we want to be seen
  • Validation: as in Big Brother

Modes of surveillance

  • Visual, as implied by the term "surveillance"
  • Auditory, as in The Conversation
  • Informational: pure data, as in Agre's notion of "capture"

Hermeneutics of Surveillance

  • Surveillance as an act of (mis)interpretation
  • Extracting information from noise

Spying, the intelligence industry

Reality TV: the entertainment/consciousness industry, training a new generation of consumers for a new era of mass-customization

Panoptic (industrial economy) v. synoptic (information/media economy)

  • Panoptic: institutional gaze is internalized, self-discipline
  • Synoptic: social gaze is internalized, self-representation
  • Synopic does not replace panoptic: it's a relationship of addition, not substitution
  • Both construct identity but each in distinct way:
    o Panoptic constructs identity through individuation and differentiation
    o Panoptic constructs identity through relation and connection

Opting-in for access: social software, GPS, EZ Pass, etc.

  • Q: When does choice become coersion?
  • A: When 100% of your peers have Facebook pages and update them daily

Surveillance as/against evil

  • George Orwell's Big Brother v. John de Mol's Big Brother
  • Bentham's panoptic prison v. NSA's spy sattelites and data mining tools

Surveillance as a mode or means of cultural production

  • Mass observation
  • Reality TV
  • RSG's Carnivore
  • 0100101110101101.ORG's Life Sharing
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