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[Nettime-bold] globopolis (Re: Eric Cluitenberg)
Ivan Zassoursky on 21 Oct 2000 23:53:41 -0000


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[Nettime-bold] globopolis (Re: Eric Cluitenberg)


Dear Eric, i salute your efforts to conceptualize media and hope to 
contribute with this small abstract. I hope to make it into a more extensive 
presentation on Dec.2 in Vienna at the public netbase sponsored event 
(details later).

cheers, ivan

=== the abstract ===

Public sphere, public scene and the playing field

The concept of 'public sphere' originated in the criticism of the 
contemporary press Habermas developed using the ideal of early bourgeois 
newspaper. Public sphere is a consept that has more to do with science than 
media, in fact. It is a product of the book culture, a dream of literacy, of 
rational minds swinging to consensus in the process of sophisticated 
discussion.
The concept of 'public scene', on the contrary, originated through the 
analysis of the electronic media and, specifically, the political 
communications in the modern world. Branded by many theorists as the 
political or media 'spectacle', contemporary media face us with a new 
condition of public life, where meaning is eclipsed by popularity, truth by 
personality, and reason by charm. This is a 'global village' of McLuhan - 
contrary to the 'globopolis' in the making that we see in the net.
In the village you can see and feel - but cannot participate. Whereas in the 
globopolis the local place is surpassed by a new spatial division that 
presupposes interaction in every conceivable field and with every imaginable 
purpose - as long as it can be computer-mediated at least in the beginning 
of this experience. It is worth noting that at some point this new 
spatio-temporal division effectively becomes more important than local 
settings and amazingly rearranges social interaction along the new venues of 
communication.
The development of the Internet gives rise to a different concept of a 
'playing field' (or fields - it is always plural). Once participation in the 
public communication process becomes voluntary and is enriched with 
interactivity, the disintegration of the 'public' at large is followed by 
the reconstruction of society on the different grounds. The dream of 
anarchists suddenly appears fulfilled only to be haunted by the efforts of 
powerful players to readjust the field. In the level playing field the state 
and economic powers feel insecure.
Literacy and the features of electronic media find their way into the 
digital space. What we are witnessing now is the interplay of different 
environments that together comprise the emerging model of the communication 
society.
'Communication society' thus is a place where the interaction between the 
individuals is to a large degree mediated by the symbolic environment of the 
mass media - both printed press and broadcasting - and by the computer-based 
networks.

=== the end ===


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