Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun

By Wendy Hui Kyong Chun

How has the net, a medium that flourishes on regulate, been accredited as a medium of freedom? Why is freedom more and more indistinguishable from paranoid keep watch over? In Control and Freedom, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun explores the present political and technological coupling of freedom with keep watch over through tracing the emergence of the web as a mass medium. The parallel (and paranoid) myths of the web as overall freedom/total regulate, she says, stem from our relief of political difficulties into technological ones.

Drawing at the theories of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault and reading such phenomena as Webcams and face-recognition expertise, Chun argues that the connection among regulate and freedom in networked touch is skilled and negotiated via sexuality and race. She strains the need for our on-line world to cyberpunk fiction and maps the transformation of public/private into open/closed. reading "pornocracy," she contends that it used to be via cyberporn and the government's makes an attempt to manage it that the net turned a market of rules and commodities. Chun describes the best way web promoters conflated technological empowerment with racial empowerment and, via shut examinations of William Gibson's Neuromancer and Mamoru Oshii's Ghost within the Shell, she analyzes the administration of interactivity in narratives of cyberspace.

The Internet's strength for democracy stems no longer from illusory grants of person empowerment, Chun argues, yet really from the ways that it exposes us to others (and to different machines) in methods we can't regulate. utilizing fiber optic networks -- mild coursing via glass tubes -- as metaphor and fact, Control and Freedom engages the wealthy philosophical culture of sunshine as a determine for wisdom, explanation, surveillance, and self-discipline, with a view to argue that fiber-optic networks bodily instantiate, and hence shatter, enlightenment.

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Extra resources for Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT Press)

Sample text

Again, rather than mediating between space and place, the Internet allows us to space out about the difference between space and place. For more on space and cyberspace, see Kathy Rae Huffman, ‘‘Video, Networks, and Architecture,’’ in Electronic Culture: Technology and Visual Representation, ed. Timothy Druckrey (New York: Aperture, 1996), 200–207; Chris Chesher, ‘‘The Ontology of Digital Domains,’’ in Virtual Politics: Identity and Community in Cyberspace, ed. David Holmes (London: Sage Publications, 1997), 79–93; and Mark Nunes, ‘‘What Space Is Cyberspace?

This notion of state owned as public reveals important differences between eighteenth- and twentieth-century notions of public: according to Ju¨rgen Habermas, the public emerged in opposition to both government and private interests; Immanuel Kant considered the government to be private. 4. ’’ To most curators, public art is not art made or owned by the public but rather art that can be readily seen by the public—art on large television screens in Times Square or on the outside of San Francisco’s Mosconi Center, or art located inside glass-enclosed private buildings that can be seen from the outside.

Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics does not merely criticize the Internet, or users’ freedom. To claim that users are an effect of software is not to claim that users, through their actions, have no effect. Everyone uses: some use as they are used by fiber-optic networks; some have no access to them and yet are still affected by them. The fact that using makes us vulnerable does not condemn the Internet, for what form of agency does not require risk? The problem lies not with our vulnerability but with the blind belief in and desire for invulnerability, for this belief and desire blind us to the ways in which we too are implicated, to the ways in which technology increasingly seems to leave no outsides.

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