If the end of Kübler-Ross model of coping with grief is the realization of a new condition, then surely this is it: a sky full of eyeless robots, some of whom want to be our friends.” —Fred Scharmen in GRIEF
Some literature, audio and video, rounded-up.
What is true of London, is true of Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, is true of all great towns. Everywhere barbarous indifference, hard egotism on one hand, and nameless misery on the other, everywhere social warfare, every man’s house in a state of siege, everywhere reciprocal plundering under the protection of the law, and all so shameless, so openly avowed that one shrinks before the consequences of our social state as they manifest themselves here undisguised, and can only wonder that the whol
And on other riots…
Rioting in France:
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From Christian Fuchs ’Social Media and the UK Riots: “Twitter Mobs”, “Blackberry Mobs” and the Structural Violence of Neoliberalism’, who says: “Social media and technology-centrism, both in its optimistic form and its pessimistic form, is a techno-deterministic ideology that subsitutes thinking about society by the focus on technology. Societal problems are reduced to the level of technology.”
Why social media bring democracy to developing countries and anarchy to rich ones?
“This is not about poverty, it’s about culture,” he said, “a culture that glorifies violence, shows disrespect to authority, and says everything about rights but nothing about responsibilities.”
Agreed. A “culture” of violence, as this image would reveal…
Except that that’s the police… in 2008.
Following developing story about BART Police disrupting cell service in a station…
Looks like what was augured in the #LondonRiots has come true in San Francisco…
Will be following-up with more on this, but one observation… Now the commuting classes and the BART users are becoming aware of something that was already true for others. If BART police can manipulate social contact in this way, then the protest became a de facto “injunction zone.” Nothing new about this in the Bay Area. For anyone marked as a gang member in a “gang injunction,” similar restrictions already apply. Welcome to the era of injunction cities.
Design and security, just so you don’t forget.
More from the LA Times:
An unusual and rowdy sampling of the London cacophony of visual imaginaries.
Kind of like…
This image above is a “fake hoax” (words chosen by this website), which means it must be…a true fiction(?), much like what this also seems to be a “fake hoax:”
…Brought to our attention, as well as compared to another ‘burning image’ (Ed Ruscha’s LA museum aflame), in this post by Ana María León:
Also, on a different level, really haunting (beautiful?) images from CCTV cameras that the Met Police are trying to use to catch suspects in the so-called riots…
…”So-called” in the way that we truly have no appropriate ideas yet about how to make sense of what’s motivating people involved or why this all happened despite, well, the deployment of law & order cyber-security-visual technologies in widespread ways all over London in the first place. And who knows? It’s not even clear who’s more paranoid in all of this about the role of technology and who really possesses better knowledge about what to do with it…
So, to conclude and move on, we have images of burning cities as either romantic destruction of all that seems broken, or as sublime fear of disorder and chaos, side-by-side with contradictory and oftentimes self-defeating, idealized notions of technology as panacea, on all sides of the struggle. Perhaps the very visual realm appears as a fortress against rampant disorder, but it’s not clear who produces or possesses either the technologies of capture or of dissemination. How to think of all this together, if it should be even taken together? More rowdy answers below…
Update 1: Just catching up with an interesting post that Sam Jacob posted over at his Strange Harvest. Brilliant; discusses the collective usage of technologies like BB for both the ‘rioting’ as well as for business, and how the more one tries to divorce one from the other, the more difficult it becomes.
Says Sam: “Both events” (the economic downgrade and the riots) “occupy media space not only as news images but also through the fact that they inhabit the same digital communicational networks.” He continues later: “Economics, politics, looting and destruction not only rely on the same networks but are intrinsically linked as operations of the same totalising ideology that we all inhabit,” urging us in the end to take up the challenge of understanding the mutual imbrication of these image fields, and reveal their deep ties.
Update 2: Dan Hind writes in Al Jazeera that the abstractions about “mindless violence” elide the complexities of the social upheavals of austerity. He also adds about the role of technology that:
There are signs too that technology is allowing individuals to intervene in the process by which meaning is assigned to social events. When disorder broke out in France in 2005 in somewhat similar circumstances the political right was the major beneficiary. Sarkozy’s rise from interior minister to president owed a great deal to his role in expressing the anxious aggression of a mass constituency that often lived far away from the burning cars and public buildings.