Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Description on youtube
Published on May 23, 2012

Tiny surveillance drones that hover and stare. An Internet where every keystroke is recorded. The automated government inspection of hundreds of millions of e-mails for suspicious characteristics. The technological advancements spurred by the computing revolution have improved our lives, but have also diminished our privacy and enhanced the government’s power to monitor us. Writers and directors who have grappled with technology’s mixed blessings join civil liberties advocates to discuss ways of preserving our freedom in an era in which we all dwell in Bentham’s Panopticon—a prison that allows our wardens to observe us at all times without being seen themselves.

With Catherine Crump, Ken Macleod, Gabriela Adamesteanu, and Ludmila Ulitskaya; moderated by M. Julian Sanchez

With thanks to Dirk Felleman for this link

2 thoughts on “Life in the Panopticon: Thoughts on Freedom in an Era of Pervasive Surveillance (2012)

  1. Continuing on with the fiction theme… Perhaps the discussants don’t go far enough… Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 film Cube raises the question: What if we were trapped in a disciplinary mechanism which has gone way beyond any necessity for Panoptic surveillance and simply relies on the complexity of its own mechanism to keep people in place? Worse, there is no reason for the mechanism, it has simply arisen as the anonymous result of collective labour, each worker producing part of the machine in ignorance of others, until its original purpose – if there ever was one – is lost. Rest of my short review of this film here.

    One could also draw attention to the current TV series Person of Interest which posits a meta-machine of Panoptic surveillance and ambiguously resistant uses of this machine.

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