The end of forgetting: Strategic agency beyond the panopticon

  • Bossewitch J
  • Sinnreich A
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Abstract

The rapid explosion of information technologies in recent years has contributed to a substantive change in the social dimensions of information-sharing, and is forcing us to revise substantially our old assumptions regarding the knowledge/power dynamic. In this article, we discuss a range of strategic information-management options available to individuals and institutions in the networked society, and contrast these ‘blueprints’ to Foucault’s well-known panopticon model. We organize these observations and analyses within a new conceptual framework based on the geometry of ‘information flux’, or the premise that the net flow of information between an individual and a network is as relevant to power dynamics as the nature or volume of that information. Based on this geometrical model, we aim to develop a lexicon for the design, description and critique of socio-technical systems.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Identity
  • memory
  • new media
  • panopticon
  • privacy
  • quantified self
  • software studies
  • sousveillance
  • surveillance
  • transparency

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Authors

  • Jonah Bossewitch

  • Aram Sinnreich

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