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<nettime-ann> [pub] Fibreculture Journal 6 - Mobility, New Social Intens
Andrew Murphie on Thu, 17 Nov 2005 14:23:27 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> [pub] Fibreculture Journal 6 - Mobility, New Social Intensities, and the Coordinates of Digital Networks

Fibreculture Journal - issue 6

"Mobility, New Social Intensities, and the Coordinates of Digital 

Edited by Andrew Murphie, Larissa Hjorth, Gillian Fuller and Sandra 

  46rom stirrups to satellites, the invention of new forms of 
technical mobility has always created new intensities within the 
social. Each invention has also required a new idea of what it might 
be to be human, along with new tensions as older cultural practices 
and social forms are challenged. The contemporary mobility of digital 

networks is no exception. This issue of the Fibreculture Journal is 
concerned with documenting, and beginning to think through, the new 
mobile intensities allowed by digital networks. "Intensity" here 
refers not just to the ubiquitous nature of mobile networks, or to 
the frequency of use of mobile communications. New intensities are 
like new forces erupting within the old - taking the social somewhere 

it has not perhaps been before. At the least, these intensities give 
established orders new energies to either resist or attempt to fold 
into established social practices and modes of thinking.

All of the articles in this issue deal with these new intensities. 
Much of this issue develops key ideas and documents new social 
practices involving mobile telephony. Dong-Hoo Lee documents the 
experiments with self-image and expression now allowed young Korean 
women by camera phones. Angel Lin affirms the continuation of older 
social practices amongst Hong Kong college students using SMS (in the 

use of SMS to maintain social ties with friends and family, for 
example). However, she also notes the increased possibility of 
political participation, and some interesting shifts concerning 
biligual textual practices - perhaps even a specific emerging 
bilingual identity within the community of SMS users. Lin also finds 
that there are gender differences concerning the way that young 
people in Hong Kong use mobiles (males tend to use SMS to meet 
females and new friends, for example). Lin wonders if, however, this 
will lead males into more 'social grooming' via mobile 
communications. This seems to be the case in the study of Norwegian 
young people, provided by Lin PrF8itz. She finds a surprising amount 

of gender mobility within the frame of SMSing, even when the rhetoric 

outside of this frame maintains reasonably strict concepts of 
gendered behaviours. Lee, Lin and PrF8itz all outline the role of 
desire in promoting proficiency and subtleties within SMS use.

Judith Nicholson gives an extensive account of the brief but 
influential 'flash mob' phenomenon, at the same time describing the 
political potential of mobile networks in terms of new "mobs". Here 
Nicholson draws attention to the use of mobile phones to coordinate 
the political momentum in the Spanish election of 2004, echoing 
1981's 'night of the transistors'. Larissa Hjorth argues for the 
enfolding of older forms of communication within SMS and MMS use. 
Specifically she contemplates the shifting fragile intensities of the 

border between public and private in both SMS/MMS and the postcard. 
If there are new intensities of intimacy to be found in mobile 
networks, they are often mutations of older intensities.

Several articles move beyond mobile telephony, to discuss broader 
issues regarding networked mobility. Scott Sharpe, Maria Hynes and 
Robert Fagan consider the Internet as a forum for coordinating 
resistance to globalisation. As they point out, the Internet is 
already compromised as such a forum, as it is itself the forum of 
globalisation par excellence. They suggest rethinking what is 
possible in such a context. They give a detailed analysis of an older-

style approach, that of the IUF 'superunion' educational web site, 
and a newer approach, that of activists, the Yes Men. 
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