Category: English entry

Workshop: Spacecowboys

Spacecowboys – a workshop about hybrid spaces :: May 6-7, 2008 ::
Z33, Hasselt, Belgium :: 15-20 participants within a wide range of disciplines

Our feeling of space and place changes and refreshes constantly through the
interaction and communication possibilities of new media. Locations and
environments may be altered from public to a private and from concrete to
virtual through mobile technologies. These hybrid spaces create emotional
and aesthetic possibilities for artists to experiment with. How do artists
work with hybrid space and how do they make us aware of the social and
cultural implications?

This workshop will be moderated by John Hopkins. Speakers & guests: Armin
Medosh, Anne Nigten, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Eric Kluitenberg, Kurt Vanhoutte,
Peter Westenberg, Maja Kuzmanovic and Pieter van Bogaert.

Surveillance & Society: New Issue on Inequality

Surveillance and Inequality, vol. 5 (3), edited by Torin Monahan
From the Editorial:

Many domains of social life are being transfigured by new technologies of identification, monitoring, tracking, data analysis, and control. The lived experiences of people subjected to surveillance, however, can vary widely along lines of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, and nationality. This can be seen with the enforcement of different types of mobilities for different categories of people, whether at borders, on city streets, or on the Internet. It can also be observed with the increasingly invasive monitoring and disciplining of those accessing public services, such as welfare, public education, or healthcare, especially in the U.S. It can be perceived in security-screening and police-profiling practices, which continue to rely upon racial markers of “risk.” Or inequality can be found in the uneven treatment of individuals by insurance providers, credit agencies, service centers, or other commercial entities. Regardless of the domain, new surveillance systems often amplify existing social inequalities and reproduce regimes of control and/or exclusion of marginalized groups in societies.

Surveilling Europe

With “The most spied upon people in Europe” the BBC tries to give an overview of European countries and the level of surveillance their respective citizens have to cope with. Germany, Britain, France, Denmark, Greece and Italy, which to my surprise the authors claim is the most surveilled country of those six.

Italians are among the most spied upon people in the world. That’s the conclusion of the authoritative German scientific think-tank, the Max Planck Institute, which reports that Italy leads the world with 76 intercepts per 100,000 people each year.

Funny enough it was a German research institute from the Max Planck network that did the study – though they do not say which it was.

cfp: Surveillance at Mega Sports Events


We invite scholars to submit papers for the following one-day conference:
Security and Surveillance at Mega Sport Events: From Beijing 2008 to London 2012
April 25th 2008, organised by
– Institute of Hazard and Risk Research, Durham University
– School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University
– Centre for the Study of Cities and Regions, Department of Geography, Durham University

Conference Website

Reports: CCTV and Identity Theft

1. ACLU-Report und Wired-Artikel

Under the Watchful Eye, a new report issued by the California ACLU affiliates, examines the justifications for and consequences of this dramatic expansion in government video surveillance of public space at the local level.

2. Report des National Institute of Justice (USA) on Identitiy Theft

Identity theft has become perhaps the defining crime of the information age, with an estimated 9 million or more incidents each year.[1] Publicity regarding severe cases of identity theft in the print and electronic media and portrayal of the risk of identity theft in a number of effective television commercials have raised public awareness about identity theft. Arguably, however, few persons are aware of the complexities of the many issues involved with this crime, which is really a large set of fraudulent activities ranging in size from minor swindles to major crimes using stolen identities. These fraudulent actions are perpetrated by a broad spectrum of offenders, from family members to shadowy, international criminal gangs.

Naked Security by Torin Monahan

Naked Security by guest editor Torin Monahan
(July 1, 2007)

Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport recently began testing an X-ray screening device that can peer underneath clothing. The so-called backscatter system uses low levels of radiation to scan travelers and give TSA agents a graphic representation of passengers’ bodies.

The stated goal of such a system is to detect concealed weapons or objects without subjecting travelers to more invasive pat-down searches by TSA screeners. Of course, many people are appalled at the prospect of strangers scrutinizing their naked, if software “blurred,” bodies and feel that this constitutes an invasion of privacy far greater than that of a routine search.

Follow-up: another two perspectives on surveillance

Maybe one should add another two perspectives on surveillance to the 21 proposed already.

  • 22: Corporate/standardizing perspective: Coporate control over markets is achieved by standardizing products, concepts and ideas, going as far as the standardization of genetic codes.
  • 23. auto-perspective: The inititiator of the surveillance practices is the object of any form of control, e.g. voluntary surveillance regimes initiatied by athletes to counter doping accusations.

Both perspectives raise a lot of questions as do the other 21, given that many are overlapping in form, technology, aim etc. But for the fun of it and the sake of scholarly progress, I believe this to be a good form to start a discussion.

21 Perspektiven auf Ãœberwachung

Andreas Albrechtslund hat eine informelle Taxonomie von 21 Perspektiven auf das Thema Surveillance zusammengestellt. Sicherlich ein interessanter Ausgangspunkt für Diskussionen:

  1. The Big Brother perspective
    Surveillance is a scary way for the state to intrude on people’s privacy. Currently, we are on a slippery slope towards a surveillance society.
  2. The control perspective
    Surveillance is a way to practice control over individuals or a group of individuals. Thus, it is a tool to exercise power.
  3. The care perspective
    Surveillance is a way to provide care for individuals, e.g. when parents take care of their children.
  4. The ethical perspective
    Surveillance changes the power and knowledge relations between people and, thus, the space for ethical action is changed.

Neue Ausgabe: Surveillance & Society

Die neueste Ausgabe von Surveillance & Society ist online: Surveillance and Criminal Justice Part 1.

Aus dem Inhalt:

  • Torin Monahan and Tyler Wall: Somatic Surveillance: Corporeal Control through Information Networks
  • Anthony Minnaar: The implementation and impact of crime prevention / crime control open street Closed-Circuit Television surveillance in South African Central Business District
  • William Bloss: Escalating U.S. Police Surveillance after 9/11: an Examination of Causes and Effects
  • Pete Fussey: An interrupted transmission? Processes of CCTV implementation and the impact of human agency
  • Amber Marks: Drug Detection Dogs and the Growth of Olfactory Surveillance: Beyond the Rule of Law?