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The Lighthouse

CULTURES OF SURVEILLANCE

Call for Papers:

“Cultures of Surveillance”: An Interdisciplinary Conference,

Sponsored by The Film Studies Space: The Centre for the Cultural History of the Moving Image,

UCL (University College London), 29 September – 1 October 2011

We are being watched. The amazing part is that we are no longer even surprised by this. The culture of surveillance increasingly surrounds us in Europe where omnipresent CCTV cameras remind us that nothing escapes the invisible gaze of those behind the lens. At UCL, we have long been surveyed by our founder, Jeremy Bentham, who sits in a wooden case in the lobby and peers from glass eyes and a wax head: his own ‘icon’ body signals that he not only knew what surveillance meant but named it through his invention of the Panopticon. That imaginary device, which Bentham proposed would “help reform morals, preserve health, invigorate industry, diffuse instruction, and lighten public burdens,” continues to be a resonant touchstone for questions about the way governments and private agencies keep watch over our interests – and theirs. This conference, held where Bentham goes on watching both literally and metaphorically, proposes to explore, broadly, the interdisciplinary frameworks for understanding modern surveillance and, particularly, how surveillance practices intersect with visual technologies and histories of culture.

Our conference project emerges from an eagerness to think in new ways about surveillance practices as they intersect with culture, visual culture, and moving image studies. We start from the vantage point that there are many frameworks through which surveillance might be imagined today, ranging from the kinds of surveillance that entail keeping a friendly watch over each other to those represented by policing practices, government monitoring, and undercover investigations.

Our call for papers likewise assumes that questions about surveillance have become central to today’s world, as states and cultures grapple with the complex dynamics of security and liberty and as corporations demand ever more precise data about the world’s populations. As a modern panoptical city, Londonstands at the centre of the shift away from a Cold War culture of surveillance toward the post-9/11 order of things. It has long been one of the centres for the development and deployment of surveillance practices ranging from census taking to identification methods (such as fingerprinting, photography, passports, and DNA typing). It has also served over the past two centuries as a crucial nexus for practices of culture that perpetuate – and often question – the work of both social surveillance and self-surveillance: for example, the novel, detective fiction, museums, and the BBC. Visual recording and representations have historically played a central role in surveillance practices throughout the industrialising world: printmaking, photography, the cinema, and televisual moving images have accompanied the rise of the modern police force and the development of security systems in public as well as private spaces. “Cultures of Surveillance” hopes to address these intertwined histories of surveillance, practices of governance, visual technologies, and cultural forms.

This conference is sponsored by UCL’s Film Studies Space, an interdisciplinary centre for the study of the cultural history of moving images. It derives from two ongoing research projects, The Work of Film, investigating the ways moving images have been utilised by states and corporations to guide the conduct of populations; and The Autopsies Project, examining the afterlife of material objects in relation to the history of consumer culture and cinematic memory. We hope that conference presenters will discuss a range of issues in the long history of surveillance practices, from photography to digital media.

We anticipate contributions that analyse the myriad ways that visual culture has been enmeshed with political rationalities. We are keen to expand our frameworks far beyond the sphere of Londonand to look outside the Panopticon. We especially hope that contributions will find new ways of asking what it means to watch and to be watched, and to police and to be policed. We look forward to discussing ways that scholars of the humanities can interrogate the networks of surveillance that both protect and transform our world.

Following an opening lecture by Professor Tom Gunning, The University of Chicago, on Thursday, 29 Sept. 2011, the Conference will take place on Friday and Saturday, 30 Sept. and 1 Oct. 2011.

Topics might include but are not limited to:

* Histories of surveillance technologies and their applications

* The geo-politics of surveillance (in the 19th century? in Cold War culture? After 9/11?)

* Architectures of surveillance – visibility and urban space

* Film and television representations of surveillance / Film and the construction of public space

* Photography and the police

* Constructions of identity and surveillance methods (fingerprinting, passports, census taking)

* The hidden objects of surveillance (cameras, tape recorders, transmitters, interceptors, tracking systems)

* Histories and representations of objects associated with the collection, storage, and retrieval of personal data: from filing cabinets, paper shredders, computers …. (etc.)

* The Obsolete Objects of Surveillance (i.e., objects of surveillance that have fallen out of use)

* How do objects make visible personal data that is otherwise invisible?

* Self-policing: how do we watch them watch us?

* Technologies of the self and new media / Technologies of the self and dead media

* Systems of meaning and truth under surveillance/ imaginary and real inventions for policing and detecting such as lie detectors, truth serums, mind reading

* War-time surveillance: rationing and ration books, black market trading (representations and history)

* Governmental efforts to educate citizens (e.g. road safety campaigns, anti-littering campaigns, anti-smoking campaigns, etc.), both in filmic representation or through tv and press media.

* The gadgets of surveillance in spy films

* The art of CCTV cameras / Cultural plays with CCTV

* Watching cultures and Reality TV

* The relationship of bodies to surveillance technologies.

* The arts of documentary photography

* Prison plans and texts

* Watching you watching me: photography OF the police

* Under-cover policing in Film Noir / Policing practices in TV crime series

* Police procedurals (novelistic, cinematic, televisual)

* Forensic science and the invention of modern vision

* Panopticism and cinematic surveillance: theories, practices, and representations

* The relationship between voyeurism and surveillance

* New visibilities of surveillance / Changing temporalities and spaces of surveillance

* Documentary (as) surveillance

* Self-registration (tattoos, dog-tags) and rights

* Neighbourhood watch, curtain twitchers, vigilante work: putting the everyday under surveillance

* ‘Take back the night’ and women’s relationship to surveillance

* The political economy of visual technology and surveillance

* Advanced capitalism and (visual) cultures of surveillance

* Surveillance regimes in comparative historical, national, and political contexts

* Watching out for the future: surveillance technologies in science fiction

* ‘They have me under surveillance’: Paranoia and modernity

* Design technologies and panopticism / anti-panopticism

* The aesthetics of surveillance

* What can humanities scholars bring to current debates about surveillance?

* How can film studies contribute to debates about surveillance culture?

Individual papers are invited from scholars and researchers in any discipline of the humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences. Scholars from postgraduate to permanent senior academics are welcome to submit papers. Presentations would equally be welcomed from artists and filmmakers.

One-page abstracts for 20-minute presentations and a brief c.v. should be sent by Wed., 15 June to:

The Culture of Surveillance Conference Organisers

(Lee Grieveson, Rebecca Harrison, Jann Matlock, and Simon Rothon) at deadobjects@gmail.com

Participants will be notified by 30 June 2011

A conference publication is projected.

For more information on our projects, see http://www.autopsiesgroup.com and http://twitter.com/autopsiesgroup

—END—

‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: http://www.myspace.com/coldhandsmusic (recording) and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h7tUq0HjIk (live)

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Radical Thinkers

RADICAL THINKERS SET 5 & RADICAL THINKERS CLASSIC EDITIONS

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LAUNCH EVENT with TARIQ ALI and PETER OSBORNE

MEDITATIONS ON SPINOZA: THE APOSTLE OF REASON
http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/eventseducation/film/22966.htm

Part of the ‘In Defense of Philosophy’ series at Tate Modern

Friday 25th February 2011, 18.30
Tate Modern, Bankside London SE1 9TG

Christopher Spencer’s SPINOZA: THE APOSTLE OF REASON (1994) is the second film to be shown in the In Defense of Philosophy series. Written by Tariq Ali, the film presents the life and thought of Baruch Spinoza against the turmoil of seventeenth-century Europe. A fascinating modern man, Spinoza challenged orthodoxy in both religion andpolitics, angering his traditional contemporaries. Spinoza’s remarkable intellectual legacy has influenced thinkers as varied as Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilles Deleuze, Albert Einstein and John Berger.

The film will be followed by a conversation with Tariq Ali and Peter Osborne.

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The Hegelian legacy, Left strategy, and post-structuralism versus Lacanian psychoanalysis
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The Labour Debate / El Trabajo En Debate

The Labour Debate / El Trabajo En Debate

THE LABOUR DEBATE

 

 

The Labour Debate: An Investigation into the Theory and Reality of Capitalist Work was originally published in 2002 by Ashgate. The book was edited by Ana Dinerstein and Michake Neary. It has now been translated into Spanish, with a new Preface by Ana Dinerstein. The bibliographic details of this new Spanish edition are:

A.C.Dinerstein y Neary Mike (2009) (Comp.) El Trabajo en debate. Una investigacion sobre la teroia y realidad del trabajo capitalista, Ediciones Herramienta, Buenos Aires, ISBN: 978-987-1505-09-8

My chapter in the was 2002 edition was ‘Fuel for the Living Fire: Labour-Power!’.

Details on the Spanish Edition (2009):

Ediciones Herramienta presenta:

EL TRABAJO EN DEBATE: Una investigación sobre la teoría y la realidad del trabajo capitalista

Ana C. Dinerstein, Michael Neary

Compiladores

Ediciones Herramienta, Buenos Aires, 304 páginas

ISBN: 978-987-1505-09-8

 

Temas:

John Holloway Clase y clasificación: en contra, dentro y más allá del trabajo, y Un marxismo reduccionista. • Simon Clarke La lucha de clases y la clase obrera: el problema del fetichismo de la mercancía • Werner Bonefeld Capital, trabajo y acumulación primitiva: clase y constitución • Graham Taylor Trabajo y subjetividad: repensar los límites de la conciencia obrera • Massimo De Angelis Hayek, Bentham y la máquina global del trabajo: la aparición del panóptico fractal • Harry Cleaver ¡El trabajo todavía es la cuestión central! Palabras nuevas para mundos nuevos • Michael Neary El trabajo se mueve: una crítica al concepto de “sindicalismo del movimiento social” • Glenn Rikowski Combustible para el fuego vivo: ¡la fuerza de trabajo! • Ana C. Dinerstein Recobrando la materialidad: el desempleo y la subjetividad invisible del trabajo • Ana C. Dinerstein y Michael Neary Antivalor en movimiento: el trabajo, la subsunción real y la lucha contra el capitalismo

Palabras de los editores

Un plan

Era una tarde fría de un jueves de septiembre de 2007. Llegamos al departamento donde se alojaba Ana junto a su familia. Esa tarde era la despedida, porque debía volver a Inglaterra. Nos encontramos entre juguetes, mate, facturas, sándwiches, familiares y amistades.

Días antes habíamos empezado el plan. Se nos había ocurrido una idea loca. Había sido en un instante fugaz, de esos que suceden en el éxtasis generado por lecturas irreverentes, por aquellos textos que dejan la planicie de las letras para provocar relieves en nuestras vidas. Puntos de fuga. Salidas al más allá. El plan se ponía en marcha, sólo faltaba una cómplice clave.

En medio de la reunión, nos retiramos unos minutos con Ana para conversar en privado. Allí fue cuando juntos, susurrando, como si estuviéramos armando una bomba, lanzamos nuestro plan.

— Ana, queremos traducir The Labor Debate. Es un texto fascinante y nos interesa que sea parte de las discusiones que circulan de este lado del charco. Por eso este libro tiene que ser editado en castellano. Nosotros nos encargamos de las traducciones.

Ana respondió afirmativamente. El plan se ponía en marcha. Su sorpresa y agradecimiento fue tan motivador como los textos mismos.

A los pocos días Ana nos confirmó que conseguiría el dinero para la publicación: Michael Neary, el otro compilador de la obra, fue quien se encargó de ello. Con esa noticia en nuestras manos reunimos a un grupo de traductores amigos: Carla Poth, Florencia Martínez, María de las Nieves Puglia, Mariana Carrolli y Nicolás Harambour. Junto a ellos se sumaron otros traductores y las manos estoicas que hicieron posible la publicación del libro, editando, terminando y realizando las traducciones faltantes, como así también enseñándonos el camino del quehacer editorial. Nos referimos, pues, a Francisco Paco Sobrino, Carlos Pipo Cuéllar, Sibila Seibert, Ignacio Chiche Vázquez y Néstor López.

Un cronopio llamado El Trabajo en Debate

El texto que estamos presentando desde Herramienta pertenece a esa rara especie de cronopios cortaziano. El mismo constituye un debate que tiene una forma muy particular: cada autor parece estar escuchando una misma canción al tiempo que hace su propio baile. Se conforma así un bricolage en el que el trabajo es puesto como el fuego que da vida. El debate nos recuerda que el trabajo, como el sol, se esconde en la inmensidad del firmamento para aparecer a través de la luz más destacada en la noche, la(s) luna(s), aunque ella misma ya no sea el sol.

Herramienta desde hace varios años se ha dado la tarea de dar a conocer una serie de autores que proponen un debate en y desde el marxismo en múltiples direcciones. Son autores que han dado lugar a esa dolorosa incomodidad teórica llamada marxismo abierto. Así Debate sobre el trabajo forma parte de un esfuerzo emprendido por Herramienta que –explorando el campo abierto por los compañeros y compañeras de dos revistas que han dejado su huella en la izquierda argentina, Cuadernos del Sur y Doxa– encuentra en este texto el incentivo para continuar la discusión en torno a un tema que parece haber sido olvidado en las ciencias sociales y que a su vez ha recibido un desigual tratamiento al interior del propio marxismo: el trabajo.

Son estos autores-cronopios los que, explorando la categoría trabajo, nos llevan a ver en ésta mucho más que una realidad empírica; nos trasladan con esta categoría hacia el estallido de las teorías famas y de las realidades empíricas. Son, en definitiva, autores cortazianos que nos provocan la sensación de que al terminar de leerlos sabemos que la única seguridad con la que contamos es la de estar viviendo en un mundo que resulta insoportable, y que, aunque no lo queramos, eso mismo que lo vuelve intolerable es nuestra producción.

Por ello, para el colectivo que conforma Herramienta es una alegría muy grande impulsar la edición de este libro. No sólo por la calidad de los textos, ni por la amistad que a nos une con los autores. Lo es porque seguimos reforzando el lugar que ocupa Herramienta: aportar al debate sobre el cambio revolucionario.

Desde la editorial queremos fervientemente que El Trabajo en Debate se transforme en una herramienta para el debate intelectual, militante y académico. Esta aspiración no es casual: nos encontramos hoy en un momento en que la teoría ha vuelto sobre sus pasos para refugiarse en la fuerza de lo constituido, en las “teorías seguras”. Asimismo, la práctica militante parece recostarse en la certeza de las formas constituidas. Pareciera ser que nuevamente nos encontramos ante el ocaso (del pesimismo) de la seguridad. Sin embargo, los textos que conforman este libro, a pesar de haber sido escritos hace ya diez años, contienen la actualidad de mirar allí donde la fuerza del presente encuentra su fortaleza en la irrupción del pasado no realizado. Dicho con otras palabras, el texto que estamos presentando no sólo posee vigor por los temas tratados, sino porque representa un modo teórico en el que la lucha contra lo constituido se produce desde la incomodidad de lo no sido aún.

Rodrigo Pascual y Luciana Ghiotto

Buenos Aires, 21 de abril de 2009

http://www.herramienta.com.ar

Bibliographic details for the original 2002 Edition:

Ana C. Dinerstein and Michael Neary (Eds.) (2002) The Labour Debate: An Investigation in to the Theory and Reality of Capitalist Work, Aldershot: Ashgate.

ISBN: 0-7546-1779-3

Summary at the publishers (Ashgate) and ordering details: http://www.ashgate.com/default.aspx?page=637&calctitle=1&pageSubject=413&pagecount=11&title_id=4163&edition_id=4748

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk