Friday, October 27, 2006

Technologies of Transport and Communication

James Hay (University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign)
Paul Stekler (University of Texas at Austin),
Jeremy Packer (North Carolina State)
Sarah Sharma (University of North Carolina)
Brett Siegel (University of California-Santa Barbara),

Moderator- How were technologies of transport in communication allow us to think through television and media

James -- We were honored to know that our question was the first to be submitted. But Jeremy is really responsible for that. I have been interested in the relation of media to spatiality for a number of years. In particular to urban design and planning and geography;. I think of this as an intervention into critical media studies. This is one legacy of McLuhanism where media has a discreet history. One of the questions I wanted to pose come out of Jeremy's work who is working with Carey's work. Carey died over the summer and there all sorts of tributes and retrospectives at the Univ of Illinois and this is a kind of question about the question communication and transportation. The relation between technologies and media and transport have made this kind of pairing as resonant for research these days. This is in the case with social and behavioraol scientists. However we need to engage this more. The three questions to elaborate - wat does thinking about tv as transport help us think about tv studies? It asks us to think about it in terms of communication in terms of the hybridity of the televisual. The hardware and software has to the techs of present and in past. Telephonic, telegraphic -- tele meaning at a distance. This also has implications for thinking about the emergence of portable television. Here television is the beginning and end rather than say the car. Why would television be the best way of understanding TV and not looking at it through, say, the car -- why isn't that importrant when we think about portable screens. The second question has to do with the question of power. This is born out of two of the roundtables I went to yesterday. television and transport then puts together a sense of power. And this has to do with physical mobility and the power that one thinks about our environments that are designed to regulate movements. The last question has to do with the kind of reasoning where mobile teletechnologies are linked to "freedoms" and the "livberations" of populations. How has this gained traction through a neoliberal rhetoric of freedom and customization. I want to link televisual to transport and communication.

Jeremy -- I gave this example about hinking about comm and transport by thinking about cameras on SUVs. The thing I want to ask is thinking about Foucaults notion of problematization. One would be what problems are imagined that they can solve. If we bring cameras with television we can solve certain safety problems. What kind of accidents will this cause in the idea of the fact that there is too much going on as well as be on our salvation. So he starts with radio and traffic radio. It's far too much information to deal with. The formulation has to do with safety issues and they are imagined as problems and solutions.

Sarah - I am going somewhere completely different. I am thinking about Williams concept of "private mobilization" as a coherent idea. And how does this spatial practice in time open us up to think about a coherent treatment of space and time. Think about the airline or the taxicab negotiate the space. Let us think about how coherent this was in the first place. Think about automobility as it provides the same sort of function for these techs

Brett -- Communication and transport we often think about and take for granted assumptions about flow and mobility. Well, what would it mean if we took away issues of exchange or mobility? Let us flip it around and think about these whern they do not work and when there are accidents and technical difficulties and what would think about it if we took and put aside issues of movement and instead thought about issues of blockage and congestion. One of the ways that I hope to think about this in terms of accidents as noise in the system. Malfunction and mishap would be a good way of thinking about transportation away from utopia and again think of it in terms of when things break downs since these solve the problems of these failures. What were these? If we do this it would help us rethink issues of the accident and the everyday. By focusing on these moments it would help us. Also, communication helps us think about spatio-temporal collapse and in terms of what people were saying about transportation when this in terms of our thinking if this is distopic. What about the interdependencies of comm and transport? I have been looking at the black-box flight recorder in our discourse and computer simulations to help us reproduce crashes. How did ambulance services help us think about ambulatory transport co-exist with mapping and telegraphy and telephony... etc. The failure of communication systems after 9/11 are key as well.

Paul -- I thouyght about this and I don't know the literature, but as a filmmaker and American Studies and I think about how techs help us make things better and more efficient in the US. Think about the rapidity of this discourse and the commercials that exist in a vacuum. Campaigns, for example, is quick but not necc better. Campaign efficiency may make it worse for politics due to rapid response. I am willing to argue that the ease of editing material has worsened the material because the carft has deteriorated. Again, is it worse or better

Moderator -- I think some of the common threads that I heard had to do with techs of transport and freedom.

James -- i don;t want to ursurp your perogative as a moderator and I felt there wasn't a of engagement from audience. I hope to include the audience and I do not want to presume this. Please chime in.

Jeremy - before anyone else chimes in, one of the things about power is I go back to Foucault's notion of governing from a distance. Here this distance has to do with is how communication allows us to think about the issue because it has allowed this. The neoliberal aspect of this in the freedom of these kinds of movements is where we see this klind of governence to happen. The volume of Foucault and Political Freedom and it reiterates how power and freedom are intertwined. You need to make certain that people can be free to exert power over them.

Sarah -- So how do you think about this Dr. Siegel in your issue about breakdowns? (Hay affirms and notes let us look at Foucault as a dark comedy that looks at history in the history of failure in the history of the breakdown)

Brett -- I think it is absolutely bound up in terms of forensic engineering and the specificity of media in this and we think that the myth of the 20th century and progress continually goes out the window. Failure is necessary in this aspect in the success of progress and the way that the myth of progress works in this throughout experimentation. I am interested in how media specificity problematizes this. I am particularly interested in this in the issue of safety.

jeremy -- One of the weird things that this points out in the 20th century is the constant glossing over of the accident. I mean, if we paid enough attention to the accident the autombile may be untenable. The flipside of this is in looking at how safety campaigns work as a rhetorical moment of creating breakthroughs. This accident is used all over the place -- this rhetorical trope is key.

Brett -- One of the ways I am interested in is in how engineers can be used to know and how safety would sell. There is a new regime of the discourse.

Sarah -- Affective relationships and technology and the publics are fixed in space and they want to live in a place.

McMurria (audience) - Think about distance learning and how this has to do with neoliberal policies. There are certain nontraditional students to provide alternatives in new techs and in power and governmentality ...

James -- At the University of Illinois the new President wants to thionk about a 4th campus and this would be a distance learning campus that would be a way to reach out and help disadvantaged and needy students. But this is clear that this is a way to reinvent a state institution of connecting it to private long-distance learning initiatives in order to allow students to sanction the private universities. The mission of higher ed is key to reinvent to university of the "economy of the tour".

Jeremy -- At Penn State the idea of the grabbing the space and opens up education.

Paul -- OUr libraries our being able to close down because these are ways of thes because people are not utilizing libraries and this is the online territory for funding where people.

Sarah -- The needs of creating intersections to think about the media that is discussed throughout.

Audience -- What kind of subject is being produced through these types of subjects. is the neoliberal subject a stable construct?

james -- Going about the issue of physicality and materiality we see how physical aspects of places are understood this way through a geography of access and the neoliberal subject may not be as strong. History has materials. Transport has a regulating disciplining issue of work and programs of segregation that have prevented and regulated the movement of certain populations. The issue of racial segregation of the movie theater is the one of transport.

Jeremy -- One of the things that people talk about is a "spatial turn" that a group of Scandinavian scholars have put out and the idea of this as embodied space and the idea of the neoliberal space that is of spatial-temporal class. We need to have to deal with thinking of more "fixed classes"

Sarah -- which gets back to power dynamics

Audience -- let's go back to surveillance and the issue of television as a routine device of surveillance and monitoring and it seems that we do not think about how citizens monitor government. Frank Rich think about the change in the information management of the war and after Katrina journalists are placing people in the State and how the state of newsmedia and the sruveillance happened through the news media. And affective connection to the state is key to have us resonate with us.

Paul -- yeah, and that is key. Katrina is domestic. Domestic issues drive US politics and the tipping point has to do with domestic concerns. If Harold Ford loses in Tenn it will be because of domestic issues. And there is cognitive dissonance. And they see things on TV

Brett -- Think about embedded journalists and the importance of blogging. The soldiers blogs are key

Sarah -- let us think about techs with the idea of the need to bear witness to think about how satellites can take all these pictures and we need to learn to witness media. This is one way to be taught how to watch.

Patty Zimmerman -- I want to throw out the caution about the idea of people blogging and the soldiers where people are being on the ground and the miltary has a need of managing discontent and there are many articles to connect blogs and affective connections with family and to geography. The role of these techs may be to facilitate a kind of "better soldier" or at least "better soldiering".

Brett -- What do you think about the images of YouTube on the war? They are uncensored.

Jeremy -- Mobility adds a variable and when we think about communication we fit into an ideological model and in fact we may think about it in terms of affective articulation. Let us rethink this in many ways.

James -- of the questions of Empire and what the home is in this network and where it occurs. The homeland and the family may be betwixt and between these places. Empire in such big terms may be inappropriate -- let us cast light on klinds of networks that are part of empire.

Paul -- One thing you need to think about is that all of the impact on governing us -- does it have to deal with politcs.

Jeremy -- This has to do with political affectivity in this issue -- it isn't a mass comm question -- it is a question that is asked to keep people fighting and supporting the war.

Moderator -- How do you form a public sphere that is sustainable.

Sarah -- I don't think about this in the issue of publics.

Audience -- Classically the formation of publics is brought up through print.

Sarah -- Here we go with a new tech and a new public sphere.

Moderator -- Are there any other directions you would like to take this...

James -- I am happy to hear restless rambuctious people talk about Empire. Let us think about Homeland Security and we may think about Katrina and a kind of class immobility. What kind of design and architectonic in the domestic sphere and consumption of TV. How does this kind of massive mobilization after 9/11 moves us. Homeland security is a kind of accident. Mobility is always the key to power and security sometimes trumps this liberal conception of mobility and exchange.

Paul - Isn't that the debate about America in terms of pure freedom versus governance which goes back to the 19th century. One could look at the New Deal as restrictive governance in that way

Jeremy - What are the tactics that are being used in Homeland security. Let us think about an intelligent highway that gives you the freedom where you may want to go, but it is dependent on the networking of the system. This relationship between freedom and governance.

Audience -- This model which goes back to Liberalism is key and power and freedom in it are hybridized.

Paul -- The Mayor and the city council tried to push a surveillance bill of camera on corners and it was rejected as too constricting.

Moderator -- How about the breakdown in technology

Brett -- Think about ths shots buses and evacuation in KJatrina -- it made these issues arise about the material resources needed for mobility.

Audience -- Think about the expansion of governance in so many areas of our lives after 9/11 and this classic trope in American politics.

James -- I see this issue in terms in modern political governance with the accident... damn I lost the thought! Oh, let us think about this in making this in terms of order that invokes the accident as the legitimation for these restrictions as to what you do in airports. The penetration of the breakdown. So perhaps you cannot see this in terms of security has always been discussed in terms of freedoms but this is an accident. To think politically is to think historical and the present and the present rationlaizations of the present terms of technology as the basis of freedom help us

Jeremy -- The right to bare arms is a freedom tied to national securioty history

Paul -- Good bad whatever... if you do a political campaign was able to outmobilize people in Ohio ... Applebees America in Matthew Dowd's book is key. The information is astounding that is out there. And this is key to understand. But of course the issue of surveillance is also local (see Tester v Burns in 2006 campaign)

Audience -- We all have issues of information and the idea of this info is out there to restrict us.

Paul -- This is a real problem for democracy -- think about the life of an ideoloigical divide and nothing goes on there and there is nothing that is happening and there is no middle. And all of this is making governance impossible. Nothing about public health... nothing about middle issues,

Audience -- Narrowcasting may not help us at all. What is the difference between niche marketing and narrowcasting

Tara MacPherson -- We need to understand networks better and humanities scholars don't do this and things about network structure and this programming may need to be taught.

Patty Zimmerman -- This issue is so extreme now politically that you cannot have an americancentric set of issues for the endless sets of mobility. The Patriot Act is key here and how Carnivore operates in packet sniffing and EFF cannot find out how it gets at it. Issues of the VISA issue is key as you need to have time to get bodies and human networks to make. Let us think larger and to embrace the world transnationally is really tough to think about transnational capital and governance.

Jeremy -- I am in absolute agreement and we are comm scholars and world capital is built on this.

No comments: