kuda.org (eds.): tektonik: New Social Onthology in the Time of Total Communication (2004) [English/Serbian]

5 May 2011, dusan

“tektonik is a collection of texts, transcripts of lectures and interviews with researchers, theoreticians, artists and activists who have been guests of the kuda.lounge program between 2001 and 2004 at the kuda.org New Media Center. The selected texts, lectures and interviews in this edition are a kind of research intersection in the domain of new technologies, culture and society, research of phenomena such as globalization, technological systems of control, mass communication and the Internet, new social movements, the new proletariat and new economy, the problem of intellectual property rights, and biotechnology. Given that society at the beginning of the twenty-first century is a media-saturated global society, particular focus has been directed towards the problem of the mediation of information which creates current reality.

From the very outset kuda.lounge has been a platform for discussion, argumentation and dialog, in the framework of which more than fifty presentations, lectures and workshops have been organized. In inviting key names involved in critical thinking and social theory and practice, kuda.org has attempted to offer the local public an insight into contemporary social questions in the world and to establish frequent and lasting communication and cooperation between local theoriticians and activists and an international network. At kuda.org the public has had the opportunity to hear lectures from Saskie Sassen, Steve Kurtz, Geert Lovink, Konrad Becker, Cindy Cohn and many others.

The development of information and communication technologies has introduced a new social ontology which has manifested itself on the political, cultural, economic and psychological plane. In a time when the promises of a techno-utopia are being transformed into highly-operationalized intelligent machines which serve economic interests, or into trainee virtual units for future conflicts (parallel education and training via computer games as combat simulation, unmanned flying craft – predators), the question is, to what extent can new technologies be used to fulfill some of the promises, pressing in the eighties and early nineties, in the prime of the so-called California ideology? Those promises included social prosperity, creative work, the creation of new workplaces, shortened working hours, global peace in an era of global enlightenment enabled by technology.

Via the texts in this collection we come face to face with warning projections of a dehumanized future determined by the interests of capital, a telling critique of technical-science as the ultimate generator of the capitalist machine. In opposition to this, we can see models of how the potential of new information and communication technologies can be used for democratization and realization of the project of a “better society”.

During the nineties the Balkans was a real battlefield where these global theories “fell in the water” and intersected with specific local interests. A particular idiosyncracy of the local context in the countries of the former Yugoslavia was the comprising of socialism as an idea, the direct or indirect threat of war, life in authoritarian centralism or in a neo-liberal framework of roughshod transition, which also precipitated distrust in broader social action. Parallel with the wars of the nineties, in Serbia a model of accelerated privatization of the public space and an ‘accelerated end’ of the industrial society was carried out, after which Serbian society found itself in limbo between its industrial past and an information-based future, waiting for the reopening of factories that would never be reopened.

The goal of the lectures and discussions was to critically analyze certain socio-political phenomena, to point to the root of the problem and present this to a wider public. The kuda.org center opens the possibility and space of different interpretations and models of the past, present and future social context, mapping those processes which could potentially endanger human freedom using the sophisticated methods of a high-tech society in a time of the knowledge economy. With the publication of this collection we conclude a cycle which has integrated subjects detecting general social problems, and in a “classical” print medium present them to a wider public.”

Contributions by Saskia Sassen, Micz Flor, Geert Lovink, Konrad Becker, Steve Kurtz, Kristian Lukic, Relja Drazic, Raqs Media Collective.

Serbian title: tektonik: Nova društvena ontologija u vreme totalne komunikacije
Publisher Futura publikacije, Novi Sad, 2004
kuda.read series, 001
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 1.0 License
ISBN 8671880265
150 pages

Editors

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Surveillance and Society journal, Vol. 1, 6-8 (2002, 2009-2011)

27 January 2011, dusan

Surveillance & Society is the premier peer-reviewed free access electronic journal of surveillance studies.

Surveillance & Society exists to publish innovative and transdisciplinary work on surveillance; encourage understanding of approaches to surveillance in different academic disciplines; promote understanding of surveillance in wider society; encourage policy and political debate about surveillance.

Vol 8, No 3 (2011): Marketing, Consumption and Surveillance. Edited by Jason Pridmore and Detlev Zwick
Vol 8, No 2 (2010): Surveillance and Empowerment
Vol 8, No 1 (2010): Open Issue
Vol 7, No 3/4 (2010): Surveillance, Children and Childhood
Vol 7, No 2 (2010): Surveillance, Performance and New Media Art
Vol 7, No 1 (2009): Open Issue
Vol 6, No 4 (2009): Gender, Sexuality and Surveillance
Vol 6, No 3 (2009): Surveillance and Resistance. Guest Editors: Laura Huey and Luis A. Fernandez
Vol 6, No 2 (2009): Health, Medicine and Surveillance
Vol 6, No 1 (2009): Relaunch Issue: Revisiting Video Surveillance
(2002) Launch Issue

Editorial team: David Murakami Wood (Managing Editor), Sarah Cheung (Editorial Assistant), Kevin D Haggerty (Book Review Editor), Nils Zurawski (Web Manager)
Published by Surveillance Studies Network
ISSN 1477-7487

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Hessdörfer, Pabst, Ullrich (eds.): Prevent and Tame. Protest under (Self-)Control (2010)

12 December 2010, dusan

The common dualistic approach to social movements tends to see power and resistance as separate and independent antagonists.

The contributors to this book aim to transcend that approach, arguing that to adequately analyze ongoing struggles, it is also critically important to trace the constitutive interconnectedness between social movements and power. This is the aim of the title “Prevent and Tame”: emergent strategies to prevent and tame protest—whether they are undertaken by the state or by factions within the movements themselves—have given rise to new kinds of social relations and regulations that call for a new approach to research on social movements and protest.

Inspired by Foucault and others, this book offers theoretical and empirical investigation into the implications that governmentality studies and subjectivation perspectives may have for a deeper understanding of the dynamics in the relationship between power and movements. The articles reflect on the effects of current neo-liberal or neo-social transformations on social movement practice, including the impact of surveillance, the criminalization and stigmatization of protest, and how these can lead movements to engage in self-taming behavior amongst themselves.

Taken as a whole, this book suggests that to take the struggles of social movements seriously, requires to acknowledge the complexity of the power dynamics in which they are involved. In so doing, the authors’ aim is not to tame protest by over-amplifying its apparent obstacles, but to prevent its energy from being pointlessly wasted or misdirected (i.e. by being spent in the wrong places, in false conflicts, or even in fighting the clouds they cast themselves).

Includes contributions by Stephen Gill, Peter Ullrich, Florian Heßdörfer, Andrej Holm, Anne Roth, Marco Tullney, Michael Shane Boyle, Darcy K. Leach, Sebastian Haunss and Nick Montgomery

Editors: Florian Hessdörfer, Andrea Pabst, Peter Ullrich
Publisher: Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Karl Dietz Verlag Berlin, November 2010
Series: RLF Manuskripte, Volume 88
ISBN: 978-3-320-02246-4

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