Monday, December 7, 2009

targeting google earth

In her talk on ‘Targeting Google Earth,’ Lisa Parks explained how the study of satellite photographs and the terrain of Google Earth must be expanded to include a vertical, sort of off the page, historical reading that incorporate what and whose satellite took the picture, who paid for it, what was erased and the players involved in its production. She also said that it was vital for more media literacy as the expanse and use of virtual media grows. I feel like these two points from her lecture highlight imagined spatial implications for virtual media. First, the path or network that leads to the creation of virtual images. Second, the community that is excluded from the political discourse because of the new emphasis on virtual media due to lack of access/education to the technology. Given these two spaces/communities/networks that Parks notes are created in virtual images like Google Earth, issues of power, subjectivity and access are all called into questions. It seems like positions of text and producer are blurred into a reading where a text can be seen more as a process (with specific temporal and spatial paths).

How does this vertical and more historical definition of satellite images merge the identity of the people behind a text with the text itself? Do they become inseparable? Or is this notion of blending community and text itself just an element of all the imagined communities we have been investigating?

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