Foucault News

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

Gordon Hull, Lessons from Agre on Privacy as Capture (Part 2): Can Foucault Get Past Panopticism?, New APPS: Art, Politics, Philosophy, Science, 5 August 2019

A couple of weeks ago, I noted my newly discovered appreciation for Philip Agre’s “Surveillance and Capture” and outlined why I think his development of capture (and retreat from surveillance) is particularly applicable to the privacy concerns surrounding big data.  Here, I’d like to suggest that Agre’s distinction is also helpful in understanding a frequently remarked limitation in Foucault.  The limitation is this: a Foucauldian model of disciplinary power treats Bentham’s panopticon as its ideal image.  That image, and the model it subtends, has come under sustained critique over the last twenty years in a scholarship inspired by Deleuze.  Let me start with a review before getting to what capture can tell us about Foucault and surveillance.

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