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<nettime-ann> [pub] Book announcement - Chun
David Weininger on Wed, 8 Feb 2006 19:44:49 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime-ann> [pub] Book announcement - Chun


Hi all:

I thought this new book might be of interest to nettime readers. More 
information is available at 


Control and Freedom
Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics
Wendy Hui Kyong Chun

How has the Internet, a medium that thrives on control, been accepted as
medium of freedom? Why is freedom increasingly indistinguishable from 
paranoid control? In Control and Freedom, Wendy Hui Kyong Chun explores
current political and technological coupling of freedom with control by 
tracing the emergence of the Internet as a mass medium. The parallel (and

paranoid) myths of the Internet as total freedom/total control, she says,

stem from our reduction of political problems into technological ones.

Drawing on the theories of Gilles Deleuze and Michel Foucault and
such phenomena as Webcams and face recognition technology, Chun argues
the relationship between control and freedom in networked contact is 
experienced and negotiated through sexuality and race. She traces the 
desire for cyberspace to cyberpunk fiction and maps the transformation of

public/private into open/closed. Analyzing "pornocracy," she contends
it was through cyberporn and the government's attempts to regulate it
the Internet became a marketplace of ideas and commodities. Chun
the way Internet promoters conflated technological empowerment with
empowerment and, through close readings of William Gibson's Neuromancer
Mamoru Oshii's Ghost in the Shell, she analyzes the management of 
interactivity in narratives of cyberspace.

The Internet's potential for democracy stems not from illusory promises
individual empowerment, Chun argues, but rather from the ways in which it

exposes us to others (and to other machines) in ways we cannot control. 
Using fiber optic networks--light coursing through glass tubes--as
and reality, Control and Freedom engages the rich philosophical tradition

of light as a figure for knowledge, clarification, surveillance, and 
discipline, in order to argue that fiber optic networks physically 
instantiate, and thus shatter, enlightenment.

Wendy Hui Kyong Chun is Assistant Professor of Modern Culture and Media
Brown University. She has studied both Systems Design Engineering and 
English Literature.

7 x 9, 360 pp., 62 illus., cloth, ISBN 0-262-03332-1

David Weininger
Associate Publicist
MIT Press
55 Hayward Street
Cambridge, MA 02142-1315
617.253.1709 fax
dgw {AT} mit.edu
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