Jacques Ranciere, “The Emancipated Spectator
According to Jacques Ranciere, “The Emancipated Spectator,” is a challenge. He says that spectatorship is a bad thing for two reasons when we consider that, “being a spectator means looking at a spectacle” (272). First, looking is considered the opposite of knowing. In other words, it means, “standing before an appearance without knowing the conditions which produced that appearance or the reality that lies behind it” (272). Secondly, looking is considered the opposite of acting: “he who looks at the spectacle remains motionless in his seat, lacking any power of intervention” (272). According to Ranciere being a spectator means being a passive person, which is considered a bad thing.
Jaron Lanier “The Unbearable Thinness of Flatness
In Jaron Lanier’s, “The Unbearable Thinness of Flatness,” Lanier discusses the idea of a “flat” global structure. According to him this refers to a world where when people think about ideal computers instead of real ones, it influences cultural software engineers to present a world, “in which each cultural expression is like a brand-new tiny program, free to be anything at all” (Lanier). And because of this, it suggests a pleasing world to people like software technologists, since everything is born fresh in this flat global structure. Overall, this “flatness” addresses a kind of danger that can happen if people start to believe and rely in bits too much. This is a problem because many prefer ideal computers to real ones. Ideal computers can offer infinite possibilities and allow the user to experience freedom, while real computers may trap us in messy confusing code that makes it hard for users. The thing that makes a “flat” global structure is the fact that each cultural expression would be created using the same resources as all the other ones; they would all be aligned on the same starting line. Lanier’s overall opinion of this growth toward ideal computer using and “flatness,” is that is leads to blandness and meaninglessness. The younger generation, referred as the, “Face-book generation,” is engulfed in such things like BitTorrent and new digital culture. He sees this move toward “flatness” as a problem that needs fixing.
Michel Foucalt “Discipline & Punish, Panopticism”
In Michel Foucalt’s, “Discipline & Punish, Panopticism,” Foucalt tells a story about a strict spatial partition. Here, people are under constant surveillance and attempt to escape the town leads to immediate death. On specified days they are not allowed outdoors, and only appointed people can roam the streets freely. Five or six days following the quarantine, the mission to purify each house begins. They spray perfume everywhere, and after four hours residents may re-enter their home. This story illustrates, “a compact model of the disciplinary mechanism” (2). The space is enclosed, constantly supervised, hierarchical, and individually monitored and watched. He discussed the illness of lepercy, and how all diagnosed with lepers were treated as plague victims. They were excluded and disciplined. Foucalt then draws a connection to the architectural figure in Bentham’s Panopticon. Its principles were based at the periphery that is divided into cells with a supervisor in a central tower. It was built like this to make it possible to see constantly and recognize, and had three functions: “to enclose, to deprive of light and to hide” (4).