Sassen (1999) quoted in the Bell article explains: ‘powerful corporate actors and high-performance networks are strenghtening the role of private electronic space and altering the structure of public electrnic space.’

I wonder in how far the boundaries between private and public spaces are distinguishable? Even the open tabs on my computer screen are a mash-up, with me switchning between private/public, although the private spaces are mediated via corporate servers (in my case Virgin Media)

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Are you talking to me?

There is some discussion about the visuality of the internet, the liquidity of images etc. Literature points to the development of web 2.0.

Whilst the dynamics of the associated imagery is fast and ever changing, I would suggest that technological advances for adding sound is a fundamental shift, contributing to the depth of cyberspace.

The creation of images is part of a very longstanding human tradition, and the duplication of these images has been an ongoing technical development for a few centuries. Printing, screen printing, photocopying has been around for quite some time, with digital manipulation and printing emerging in the 80s.

Where before images were reasonably mobile, sound was less omnipresent. However, with mobile technology we are surrounded by land and sound scapes. Web developments allow to grab and edit sound and manipulate sounds as if they were visual. The availability of  such combination adds to the enhanced experience.


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Martin Hand suggests ‘flattened  forms’ of cultural production, blurring the differences between cultural production and consumption. He gives the example of You Tube, Wikipedia,Facebook which usher the flattened form of cultural production, the blurring.

I would like to argue that depending on the mode of visualisation, a 3-D representation of the various networks illustrates ‘depth’ and models intensity, illustrating the nodes of communication, interaction. Although I accept that what he refers to possibly is the ‘form’ and not the ‘contents’ of these communications. Still, I am not quite sure how flatness can be associated with for example You Tube which can support many uploads on the same topic (say for instance a band, political views, art,  history)

There is a discussion (led by art critic Clement Greenberg) with regards to abstract art, in relation to figurative art, illustrating flatness

abstract art utilises the flatness of the media,the canvas, as a feature of art, the 2 dimensional plane. In a similar way one can argue this is true for Web-based communications.

The concept of flatness is an intriguing one, part of a tradition of dealing with images and their visual analysis.


source images:


Image 1:

The project was programmed in Java. It can be decomposed in three main parts. The first part is a web crawler (sometimes also called spider or robot) that is used to grab the structure of the web sites. The second part is responsible for the analysis of the log files. The third part, realized with Java3D, controls the 3d visualization.

Image 2:

Webtracer represents this structure as a three dimensional molecular diagram, with pages as nodes(atoms) and links as the strings(atomic forces) that connect those nodes together

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what is digitising actually do???

Martin Hand argues that ‘digitization enables and intensifies processes of circulation, flattening, de -territorialization, and de-differentiation, and for new kinds of objects, subjects and practices to become emergent and convergent in a transition from analogue to digital cultures.’

Whilst I do agree with this statement, photography already supported this. Taking photos and getting these ‘developed’ in a lab and having to wait for the lab to return the prints would obviously not give that instantaneous feedback.

What makes digitisation attractive is the instant gratification, the immediacy both in time and space. Smartphones and other devices streamline our actions and our thoughts into cyberspace. We have a presence that extends beyond our physical boundary.

And Hand continues: ‘The question of speed is thought to be central in altering the objects and conditions of contemporary capitalism producing scenarios of immediacy,24/7 communications and the transformation of culture into indifferent information.’

I am not sure if information can be ‘indifferent’ though…

and further on in the chapter: (p 19) ‘any delay or distance between doing something and thinking about it is lost in the global information culture.’ …’ The end of culture as a representational, super-structural or epiphenonemon’.

not quite sure if I get this at the moment. Seems a contradiction when considering visual complexity modelling.


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I decided to make a one-off payment on a store card I have but hardly use. The hassle of setting up direct debits or going in person to the bank or post office  has been taken out of the daily grind of dealing with this. However, it assumed I am digitally networked and have the competency to deal with this type of activity. It is a simple example of how socioeconomic conditions determine how we deal with these daily tasks. Whilst it saves me time and money (no car journeys, as late a payment as possible, no postage), one could say it is less democratic as not everyone can afford such networked facilities. Ironically it would be less straightforward now to make paper payments. So in that sense, technology cannot always be helpful unless you are equipped to deal with it. It may both enable and disable our outlook.

There were a few more implications: I can save my payment details as an image, not a text-based document. And in order to display it online in this blog, I thought it was best to take out my card details, to stop fraud.

Social inclusion, participation, empowerment, as has been argued, can be achieved through networked technology but without the necessary financial means and skills to use the technologies,one can be left digitally stranded.

But one could argue this is nothing new: when Ford introduced the first Model T motorcar, regarded as the first affordable car, produced on an assembly line, mobility became a force for social change. It comes perhaps as no surprise that language to describe these new development, i.e. the information superhighways, were inspired before by real tarmac, offering people opportunities to engage more quickly with other groups. Financial means to support such activity is crucial.


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