[Air-L] Inside, Outside, Upside, Down - Privacy and Public presence in the Internet age

natalya godbold ngodbold at gmail.com
Tue May 11 02:22:47 PDT 2010

In the wifi party, copresence is not redundant but important and necessary
to create a party:  people "dance off each other".  They respond to each
others moves.  You need copresence for that.

On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 4:11 PM, Paul Frosh <msfrosh at mscc.huji.ac.il> wrote:

> Responding to Carmel and Seda, it might be helpful to think through
> publicness in two time-honoured and occasionally contradictory ways: first,
> as visibility (see John Thompson's work on this, among others) - being in
> public involves being seen in a shared space common to (and open to) all.
> Obviously new technologies mean that increasing areas of what were once
> considered domestic life are made visible to unknown others, for better and
> for worse (that is why privacy is invaded) - although 'old' technologies
> (photography, voice recording, television) did a pretty good job of
> expanding publicness. Thinking about Carmel's example of the wifi street
> party this idea of publicness obviously applies: the street is a
> paradigmatic example of shared public space. The other sense of publicness
> is discursive: a group united by shared discourse (Habermas, Warner). In the
> modern era this was usually but not exclusively a physically dispersed group
> brought together through shared texts and
>  media, and frequently synchronized consumption of those texts (reading the
> daily newspaper) - irrespective of whether those texts were consumed in
> (visible) public places or in private spaces: in fact, broadcasting media
> pulled private 'domestic' consumption firmly into the discursive public
> sphere. Carmel's example equally applies here: everyone listened to the same
> music, at the same time - and the music was 'broadcast' to them by wifi. The
> paradox in Carmel's wifi street party is between these two forms of
> publicness - visible and discursive - and in the conspicuous, comic
> redundancy of co-presence to the act of public media consumption. It is as
> though one were suddenly presented with a material image of the dispersed
> media public, transformed into a publicly visible crowd, put on view to one
> another, while still privately consuming their shared texts.
> Don't know if this rambling helps!
> Paul
> Paul Frosh,  msfrosh at mscc.huji.ac.
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Natalya Godbold
PhD Candidate (Human Information Behaviour / Health Communication)
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
University of Technology, Sydney

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