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The non-stop ‘capture’: the politics of looking in postmodernity

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Abstract:

This article examines our ability to constantly capture life on the move with the convergence of technologies. The incorporation of recording facilities in mobile telephony and our ability to connect to the Internet via mobile devices enable us to share images on a global platform. The mobile body becomes one that can capture images on the move. This ‘civilian gaze’ creates a ‘glass house’ society in which pervasive watching and recording can create spaces of accountability, surveillance, risk, politics of pity, and denigration of humanity. Mobile communications create a politics of looking in postmodernity where both new sociabilities and risks are created with the embedding of these technologies in our everyday lives. This article examines the consequences of this non-stop capture and civilian gaze for humanity in the immediate and distant future.

Keywords: convergence; gaze; image capture; mobile technology; postmodernity; risk; surveillance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/post.1.2.167_1

Affiliations: Queen Mary, University of London

Publication date: January 25, 2011

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