Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Final Paper -- Soft Control and Social Infrastructure

Since the start of the semester, a problem that has kept coming up in the periphery for me is that platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr et al are identified with emergent, collective action and yet are fundamentally centralized corporate projects. I'd like to center my paper on the question of how online social infrastructure utilizes strategies of soft control and where there are gaps in the interactions they enable. The Terranova would be the central text I would need to engage, but I'd like to draw from a swath of the others, particularly the Berlant and Thrift.

I'd like to explore how participation in social networks inverts creative production into a form of consumption that espouses a certain mode of participation as a universal. I'd like to connect that to anxiety and the notion of a collapsing temporality, and I think data as duration would be interesting to explore in regard to control (eg the Facebook timeline, text messaging). Additionally, I'd like to touch on the misuse of both the network (Anonymous) and social platforms (net art?) as a source of friction, creativity, and dissent. I could also see this touching on news and journalism in the context of social infrastructure.

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