Geert Lovink on Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:44:54 +0100 (CET)

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[Nettime-nl] 'drone' conferentie in Utrecht 12-13 december

Surveillance technology has become a central means of governance, political domination and social ordering. A central characteristic of contemporary surveillance technologies is their reliance on digitally mediated and technologically controlled remoteness. Remoteness in all its modalities (e.g. as distancing or outsourcing), has become a characteristic feature of our machine-defined social life. Therefore, the Centre for the Humanities and the Centre for Conflict Studies are organising the conference ‘REMOTE CONTROL: Violence/Containment/Technology’ on 12 and 13 December. The aim of this event is to think through the analytical, political, ethical and epistemological consequences of technologies of remote control, warfare and policing. 


According to contemporary military and security doctrines, the only adequate means to contain violence is to permanently monitor the spaces of everyday life in ‘zones of suspicion’. We see the extension of these war-like activities in areas of social life that were previously sheltered from such violence. Militarisation has now moved into police work, humanitarian relief operations, migration management, economic espionage, crowd control and corporate security. From infiltration in virtual worlds,  through facial recognition of car drivers nearing airports, to drone surveillance: state powers and corporate interests aim to identify, separate and target bodies deemed malign and threatening from those deemed valuable and threatened (social sorting).


The new technologies of remote control and technological warfare are increasingly based on remote knowledge, relying heavily on cyber-intelligence. Current surveillance technologies are much more subtle and sophisticated than ever before and rely on selective rather than generalised forms of control. An example of this is the way by which the EU makes use of satellites with synthetic radar equipment that are able to trace and track immigrants long before they have reached European borders. This way, fresh forms of exclusion are produced which not only cut off targeted groups from social participation but do so in ways that are at times scarcely visible to the larger public.


These developments raise an array of questions, ranging from the analytical and political to the ethical and epistemic. During the symposium, attention will be paid to questions such as:

	• What analytical vocabularies help us to conceptualise these phenomena?
	• How is legitimacy communicated and performed?
	• How is remote control and surveillance resisted and countered by those who are subjected to it?

Several scholars will address these topics in their lectures. Contributors include:

	• Prof. Stephen Graham (Professor of Cities and Society, Newcastle University)
	• Prof. Em. Mark Duffield (University of Bristol, former Director of the Global Insecurities Centre)
	• Dr Rivke Jaffe (Centre for Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam)
	• Ine Gevers (curator, writer and activist)
	• Prof. Marieke de Goede (Professor of Politics, University of Amsterdam)
	• Prof. Georg Frerks MSc (Professor of Conflict Prevention and Conflict Management, Utrecht University)
	• Prof. Joost Raessens (Professor of Media Theory, Utrecht University)
	• Jonas Staal (artist, writer, activist)
	• Dr Patrick Crogan (Senior Lecturer at Department of Creative Industries, University of the West of England)


The event is free of charge but registration is mandatory. Please register by email:

Locations: Academiegebouw, Domplein 29, 3512 JE Utrecht and Instituto Cervantes, Domplein 3, 3512 JC Utrecht.


Rosi Braidotti and Jolle Demmers.

Event:	 Conference ‘REMOTE CONTROL: Violence/Containment/Technology’
Date:	 12 December 2014 until 13 December 2014
Time:	 All Day
Location:	University Hall (Academiegebouw)
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