sizing up media, technology, and society

Spaces, Culture, and Watching

with one comment

hey all,

I keep coming back to ideas of space and remediation, and they don’t go away. I found a rather funny take on Google Map’s Street View feature, which pushes their goal of world mapping to a new level: that of 360 degree van-level views of all intersections of major cities. Google’s omnipresence takes on an otherworldly quality, which ironically might not be far from the cybernetic truth.

At what point does the remediation of space and its subsequent rerelease to a curious public become too much? The intiative to render all street corners into images follows the siren call of our “underwatch” culture: YouTube invites us to watch others through video; Facebook through information, communication, and image timelines; and TV shows like Big Brother are premised on their subjects being watched constantly.

Shocking video after the jump!

I would go so far as to say (and know that Horkheimer & Adorno would agree with me) that the products of culture that we consume actually work to shape our expectations and experiences in order to evoke particular, predictable responses.  I’ve spoken about diets, and a culture raised on YouTube+ Facebook+ Reality TV = a culture ripe, ready, and willing to deal with constant surveilliance. Don’t believe me? There’s no going back after this.

Haunting? You bet… See you in class.



Written by jon.

February 4, 2008 at 6:05 pm

One Response

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  1. It’s haunting alright, but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless against it. Knowing these things, be careful what you publish on Facebook.


    February 7, 2008 at 5:51 pm

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