Topological and networked visibility: Politics of seeing in the digital age
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Martini, M. (2019). Topological and networked visibility: Politics of seeing in the digital age. Semiotica, 2019 (231), 259-277. https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2017-0139
© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston. Today, the convergence of video-based Internet Communication Technologies (ICTs) is challenging centralized control over cultural topologies. Accordingly, this paper proposes a theoretical prism for the analysis of the sociopolitical impact of online audio-visual communication. More precisely, this study discusses how topological visibility (i.e. culture-based, highly centralized and spatially organized visibility structures) and networked visibility (i.e. occurrence-based, decentralized and network organized visibility structures) interact in today's digital landscape. To this aim, four examples divided into two clusters will be discussed. The first cluster (i.e. Occupy Movement and BlackBerry Riots) will describe the functioning of topological visibility, while the second cluster (i.e. NO DAPL drone activism and Aleppo residents' live-streaming) will illustrate how technology-enhanced mediability may create networked spaces of appearance. The paper concludes by arguing that networked visibility does not neutralize the relational nature of the human gaze but rather forces and expands the culturally-defined boundaries of its legitimate social existence.
European Commission Horizon 2020 (H2020) Marie Sk?odowska-Curie actions (837727)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2017-0139
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/301938
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