Papers: Identity and Activism

Just a pomotion for a new book that is coming out, Online Territories.

One of the presenters who was scheduled to attend was not here. Rrrrr.

David J. Phillips is speaking about Identity and surveillance play in hybrid space, and he just gave an intersesting definination of identity (though he spoke it, but now I do not recall it–perhaps it will be on the conference usb?). Interesting comment about a group of surveillance practice. I did not know there were things such as surveillance studies and scholarship (I am out of the loop, I suppose). Interesting discussion about visual surveillance and actuarial surveillance.

Wonder where surveillance studies lives: sociology? cultureal studies? educational research?

Ahh, discussion about how people hijack space with surveillance. McGrath. Wow, so much new to consider.

Ok, now I am starting to fade a bit, as I am hearing so many definitions and frames that are new, and are quite complicated for such a newbie. Alas, will have to read the paper as I think that some of this will be useful in my research. This is exactly one of the reasons why I find conferences so valuable, as I learn about things that are related to my work and about which I know little (to nothing).  For example, the research question that is now being explored is “How might actuarial surveillance play subvert ideologies of identity.” This seems like a fascinating question that I do not quite understand (at least, not yet).

I actually feel at a loss of what to discuss here as I am listening and trying to keep up.

“This is bolded in my notes, so I better say it.” Certainly words to the wise.

He looked at Foursquare, Area/Code, and Blast Theory.

This room is so crowded that 13 people are standing up. Perhaps they underestimated how many people were interested in this topic?

Interesting conception of what we imagine for the  visual watcher (e.g., Big Brother, Mom, etc.). However, it is hard to develop an imaginary of an actuarial watcher, as we cannot fully conceive of a system that so thoroughly tracks each and every of our movements.

Visual surveillance is now unbounded in time, as we put something online, it is out of time to know exactly when we started to be watched.

The questions that were asked of  the presenter are quite complex, yet they are helping me to understand this topic. For example, there is a desire to give up information to the vast system, such as taking online quizzes such as “If I were a murderer, who would I be?” (e.g., Atilla the Hun); what would  the pleasures around this be?

Next is Christina Neumayer discussing “Identity and surveillance in digital activism. Her focus is studying activism, and it is from this perspective that she comes to surveillance studies.

Activism is oriented toward engaging people to gather together to demand policy changes. She is showing several examples that did not have wide media coverage about the thousands of people who took over an Austrian lecture hall, had pro- or anti-Nazi rallies, protested at environmental conferences, and the like. They often use different online identities and such, and has interesting effects on the blurring between personal and private (online) identities.

What fascinating questions in this session. I really need to learn more about all this, as my quite slow and ingreased wheels are beginning to turn . . .