All posts tagged with 'epistemology'
3:15 p.m., Saturday, April 16, room 701 | Faculty respondent: Peter Asaro
The Social Meaning of Prison: Facebook and Twitter Access and Usage in U.S. Correctional Facilities
A changing media landscape has profoundly altered the institution of the prison, a space once characterized by walls, cells, and other physical barriers imposed to contain and isolate deviants from the greater community (Foucault, 1977). Whereas today’s inmates remain physically apart, they no longer exist in social and information isolation, a reality that has rewritten the meaning of “prison” (Meyrowitz, 1985).
Social networking forms such as Facebook and Twitter have only recently appeared in the American correctional facility, and their usage has increased opportunities for prisoners to connect with the outside world – and each other. Prisoner use of social networking has not only complicated traditional practices of institutional security and control (e.g. inmate coordination of riots), but has inherently altered the experience of imprisonment (e.g. inmate access to romantic relationships). While computer usage and internet access is prohibited in most U.S. prisons, inmates gain access to social networking largely vis-à-vis contraband cell phones or through use of for-profit intermediaries which allow inmates to create and edit online content through the mail.
In this paper, I examine inmate access and usage of social networking, and explore the implications of these practices on institutional control and greater prisoner social experience. I argue that prisons will not be successful in attempts to end inmate social networking, and should instead focus on using these formats to aid prisoner education and reentry.
Protocol Z: The Distributed Social Organization of Zombies
The object of my research is the representation of distributed social organization in popular culture. Specifically, I explore this concept via the increasingly popular zombie narrative. As evident in Robert Kirkman’s graphic novel series “The Walking Dead” (2003–), there is a tension between the hiearchical structure of the family and the “flat” organization of zombies crowds. I argue that this tension stems from a cultural fear of not only zombies but also anxieties surrounding the information age. In fact, the first decade of the twenty-first century has seen a trend of non-fiction books, such as “Crowdsourcing” (2009), “The Cult of the Amateur” (2007), and “You are not a Gadget” (2010), that warn of an oncoming horde. However, the zombies of these books are the participants and users of the internet. By articulating the concept of crowds by E. Canetti with A. Galloway’s “Protocol” (2004), I form an analytical framework that addresses the issues posed by S.J Lauro and K. Embry’s “Zombie Manifesto” (2008). The goal of such an analysis is to first question how zombies have become the vessal for fears surrounding the distributed network crowd and second, suggest that this horror sub-genre is an important space to experiment and to investigate organizational possibilities.
Rethinking the Image in the Digital Age
In this day and age, our instant communal interaction is mediated by images posted on social networks. Flickr, Facebook, Instagr.am and Twitpic are just a few examples of technologies creating a vast transformation in the way we experience both online interrelations and our daily lives. It seems that no moment we experience is complete without documenting it, posting it and waiting for an online friend to press like or comment about it. Technology is dictating an epistemic change in the way we view ourselves and experience our social contacts. Every experience does not start, cease to exist or truly felt unless this process of documenting-posting-commenting takes place. We are constantly aware to the presence of a digital camera, while sharing our every move.
Jean-Luc Nancy perceives the image as a unique being which allows our being-with to come to presence. In my proposed research, I wish to stem from Nancy’s perspective and view the image in the online arena, where it comes into presence and opens a possibility for being- with, whilst it becomes a part of an interface which has a set of pre-determined practices. This transformation, re-defining our social interaction and experience as spectators on the one hand and the practice of photography on the other, does not take place only within the web. Kodak, for example, recently launched re-branding in order to meet the new demands of the “Onlife” generation (Online and life – a combination of these two spheres through social networks). They are now trying to replace the ever-familiar Kodak Moment with a new concept: So Kodak – a new campaign for a camera with a share button. Meaning, technology does not only make us re-define our social engagement, it may also indicate that our epistemic perception is on the verge of transforming itself to a Shared one.
In this frame of mind, I also intend to discuss the community built through defined interfaces, as well as the absence of those who are left outside of this visual game. Mainly, I propose to observe visual knowledge which is migrating in social networks; its instability, ever-changing materiality, the changes these transitions also decrees in the practice of photography and the inherent shift it induces in our social interaction and being-with.
Jen Heuson is a scholar, traveler, and media artist currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Department of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University. Her work critically engages the mediated production, consumption, and circulation of knowledge, culture, memory, and identity during travel, both real and imagined. Specifically, she is interested in exploring links between experience, sensation, and liveness or everydayness, on one hand, and media, epistemology, and politics, on the other. She has engaged these questions through traditional academic forms (conference, journal, thesis) and through various multimedia inquiries (sound ethnography, film documentary, radio and print journalism). Her award-winning films have screened internationally at venues as diverse as FLEX Fest, Big Muddy, Black Maria, and the Margaret Mead Film & Video Festival. Her forthcoming publications include a multimedia portrait of the Black Hills (Sensate Journal of Sensory Ethnography 2011) and an acoustic biography of Martin Heidegger (Contemporary Music Review 2011). Jen holds an MA in Film and Television Studies and an MA in Philosophy and Cultural Analysis from the University of Amsterdam as well as a BA in Philosophy from the University of Northern Colorado. For more about Jen and her collaborative work with partner Kevin T. Allen, visit smallgauge.org.
As content developer and researcher at The SIP – Shalom Shpilman institute for photography, my main focus lies in understanding transition of knowledge through images and the impact technology has over epistemic perception. In particular, I’m researching the inherent transformation that photographed image is going through in media, technology, art, the public sphere and day-to-day lives.
I am an MA student at The Cohn Institute for History and Philosophy of Sciences and Ideas, Tel Aviv University. My thesis (advisor: Dr. Hagi Kenaan) is devoted to Jean-Luc Nancy’s conceptualization of the memory and the immemorial in the image.
I further complemented my theoretical work by initiating, producing and curating international and local art events, both as an independent entrepreneur and as the producer of MoBY – Museums of Bat Yam; an international contemporary art museum located in a struggling urban environment.
As an independent producer and curator, I also took part in conceptualizing and conceiving the international project 3 Cities against the Wall, featuring 60 artists from New York, Ramallah and Tel Aviv. During the last decade, I worked as a journalist, both as a writer and an editor, in some of Israel’s leading newspapers and online magazines.