Representations of material spaces in the virtual space of the Internet
(Funded by the Academy of Finland, 2007-2012, project SA 1120394)
There are more and more sites in the Internet which include visual representations of material, real places. The range of the so called webcams is amazing. This condition of ‘over-production’ and increasing circulation of images means that there is need for conceptual understanding of the new forms of looking, seeing, presenting and circulating images. My project on the visual representations of material spaces on the Internet is divided in three parts:
Part I ‘Citycams’, place marketing, and the changing social practices, focuses on the visual representations of public urban space – the ‘citycams’. In it I will examine how the representations of material space in virtual space change social practices, look at the issue of place marketing, and questions surrounding security, privacy and ethical sustainability.
Part II ‘Home webcams’ and the construction of post-cyborg identities focuses on private non-commercial webcams installed by individuals. People seem to formulate a critical comment on surveillance society with their self-presentations. How do the home webcams modify one’s identity? Do webcams link individuals to global communities?
Part III A new kind of ‘space in-between’ moves on a conceptual level. Webcams seem to create space that is beyond all previous categorisations, being not private, not semi-public, not public, but even not ‘virtual space’ in conventional sense, since through the visual representations the virtual becomes embedded with ‘real’. What kind of space is been created in this ‘in-betweenness’ of material space and virtual space? How does it differ from previous concepts of space?
Liisa Mäkinen has worked in the project as a postgraduate student since November 2010:
Abstract of her research proposal:
’Thirst for power, or a tendency towards voyeurism? Responsibilitized people participating in contemporary controlwork’