Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blog Post #5

According to Keenan, “window in its structured brilliance works to produce or constitute the human subject, to invent the interiority of the prisoner as something to be attended to and regulated on one's own, in the uncertain absence of the jailor,” (128) and it is “is the opening in the wall constitutive of the distinction between public and private, it is also the breaching of that distinction itself.” (132) I wonder why is it that it is the window which is a frame and an opening, somewhere ambiguously between the public and the private, rather than the public sphere itself that works to constitute the subject? Is it because ultimately, we need to be in somewhere private, at a distance from the public, in order to form the subject in us, which somehow is not just me, but also contains what is not me. And it seems this connect to his statement that “the public is ‘in’ me, but it is all that is not me in me, not reducible to or containable within "me" all that tears me from myself, opens me to the ways I differ from myself and exposes me to that alterity in others.” (133)

If the window is so crucial in the constitution of the subject, then I wonder, in our age, when television and computer open up new kinds of windows into the world, how it changes subjectivity of the new generations. How does television screen which is seemingly one-way, in front of which one can safely watch the new of the day without worrying about being looked back, function as a window. Differing from a traditional window, what the television allows us to see is not the material world but rather a world that is constructed. Maybe it is why it is dangers to look at the television screen the same way as look out of a window. But is this all? How else does the television look back at us? With the computer windows, the power of communication is even stronger. There is the seemingly one-way window behind which data of our computer and thus about us is constantly uploaded to the Internet – the public sphere – without our knowing or worrying about it. There are virtual spaces such as MySpace and Facebook which seem to function as a kind of public spheres. And Danah does argue that it is through MySpace that the youth learn to interact with the outside world. By the norms and conventions governing a virtual space is so different from those of a traditional public sphere, because it is non-physical as well as numerous other reasons. What marks are left on the subject constituted though interaction in such spaces?

By Qian

Anna Fisher session

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