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Dig Citizen Public

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Dig Citizen Public Dig Citizen Public Presentation Transcript

  • Their Publics and Ours: PSAs and the Construction of Publicness Brian Ganter + Lori MacIntosh
  • what is a public? what is a citizen? who is asking? and why?
  • I. Citizens + the Nation
  • quot;Modern citizens are ... subjectified, educated, and solicited into a loose and flexible alliance between personal interpretations and ambitions and institutionally or socially valued ways of livingquot; - G. Rose, Inventing Our Selves, 79 (1998)
  • quot;Modern citizens are .. subjectified, educated, and solicited into a loose and flexible alliance between personal interpretations and ambitions and instituionally or socially valued ways of livingquot; - G. Rose, Inventing Our Selves, 79 (1998)
  • quot;I propose the following definition of the nation: it is an imagined political community ... imagined because the members of even the smallest nation will never know most of their fellow- members, meet them, or even hear of them, yet in the minds of each lives the image of their communion ... it is imagined as a community, because regardless of the actual inequality and exploitation that may prevail ... the nation is always conceived as a deep, horizontal comradeship ... quot; -- Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities, 6-7
  • • printing press • homogenous time simultaneity of story/narrative • print-capitalism laid the groundwork for • the modern nation
  • quot;Once established that national culture demands a continuous pedagogical project for making people into 'private citizens' who understand their privacy to be a mirror and a source for nationality itself, it becomes equally important that the national culture industry generated a mode of political disocurse in whcih the nation form trumps all other images of collective sociality and power.quot; (L. Berlant, The Queen of America Goes to Washington City, 56).
  • II. Public Spaces + Digi-Publics
  • The founding ideological myth of the public is that there is only one public.
  • That it is universal and all inclusive.
  • : the “Public”
  • However, a public only emerges out of the resources needed to produce and sustain it. Therefore publics have always been shaped by inequalities in access to those resources. Of course the first citizens were property holders -- white and male.
  • In fact, the well-known political scientist, T.H. Marshall tells us that the very idea of ‘citizenship equality’ has developed and expanded in the West over the past centuries only as a counterbalance and counterweight to the even deeper and more widespread structures of economic inequality (namely social class).
  • -- how do our technologies intersect with the various publics in circulation today? -- the pencil, the steam engine, and the telegraph all used to be considered technologies. why have we ceased to call them technologies? -- one thing is certain. technology is never anything (quot;goodquot; or quot;badquot;) in and of itself: it is defined by its social, cultural and political uses in certain historical and public contexts.
  • -- national print capitalism (Anderson) has given way today to digital and electronic capitalism -- just as the nation-state relied on print technologies to “imagine” its communities, global capitalism relies on electronic and digital technologies -- in the mainstream, many anxieties about digital citizenship are played out in the shift from print to digital when it comes to 'voting' (voting machines), which threaten both to make votes less than tangible, but also to increase the frequency and ease of one's participation in the process (24-hour voting cycle?)
  • -- who “we” are is largely defined by where we are at and where we feel we can move freely in by ourselves or with others: these are our public spaces
  • how are our 'publics' imag(in)ed in a global world?
  • quot;Instanteous electronic communication isn't just a way in which news of information is conveyed more quickly. Its existence alters the very texture of our lives ... When the image of Nelson Mandela may be more familiar to us than the face of our next-door neighbour, something has changed in the nature of our everyday experiencequot; -- A. Giddens, Runaway World, 12 (2003)
  • - The romanticized (and ideologically distorting) view of both globalization and technology is that it they are shrinking the world and connecting us more than ever. The global village. The World Wide Web. No dropped calls. i-Life. - However, any serious take on both the ‘global’ and the ‘technological’ will show that each is a systematic network of increasing connections but also an equally systematic network of increasing divides.
  • Show clip: Manufacutred Landscapes the life of one public depends on the exploitation of another public relations of disembedding (Giddens) + time-space compression (Harvey) to formation of publics
  • What was once exoticized.
  • Is now familiarized.
  • PIII. PSA Workshop