Lisa Nakamura is Associate Professor of Speech Communication and Asian American Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. She is the author of Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet (Routledge, 2002) and a co-editor of Race in Cyberspace (Routledge, 2000). She has published articles on race and the new media in The Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, Women’s Review of Books, Unspun: Key Terms for the World Wide Web, The Cybercultures Reader, Reload: Rethinking Women and Cyberculture, Domain Errors! Cyberfeminist Practices, and the Visual Culture Reader 2.0. Her book Visual Cultures of the Internet is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press.
Starts by showing a clip of a film, The Island. This material has not been presented before from a forthcoming book on surveillance ; Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet. Especially regarding race and ethnic and identity it is the network that decides our fate. Race is undergoing re definition due to 9/11 with Arab people being reconsidered as people of color whereas before they were not. In the time of Cybertypes, it was about whether you can trust the Internet. The nuance was relatively new at that time, the desire to fix identity remains strong and will always be so.
Excuse me, where is an information directory.
Smile for the camera sweetheart.
Facial recognition tech…got ya.
We just go a facial hit on our fugitive. We’re moving. Swipe credit card location. Team proceed immediately. LAPD is moving in.
Films must cross brand. You cant make a convincing film that does not depict interfacial digital communication. Use of surveillance technology. Images of the users as being obviation and psychologically complex is being called into question.
Surveillance is featured in books, films and television at the moment but it is abstract.
The origins of the police force and photography.
Finger printing, cinema, digital networks.
Manuel Castells; surveillance as mediatised practiced. On the fly profiling. It is a new new media practice and therefore we should be studying it.
Biometrics as involving the spectacle of The Island.
The visual culture is under unusually rapid development under the pressures from the threat of terrorism. Despite poor results it is being funded and supported. In the UK young men of colour ar more frequently surveiled than young white women for example.
These practices of human classification are very anti-Arab. The Island, Mission Impossible, 24, Enemy of the State, CSI. New network technology of identity concerned with biometrics is featured in all these films.
Biometrics are used in visual narratives to give them the look and feel of ‘the future’. The future is a ‘plot point’.
Blue screen, wire frame and biometric visual culture references are staples of contemporary film.
The digital facial image is art. In threatening the state and the use of biometrics brings race and state together.
Removal of race as a category is one of the recent streams in the debate.
Some of the rhetoric around sperm donation is racial. Scandinavian is a race in this context.
Other have noted biometrics is seen as racially neutral because it is machine based. Who images are matched in the data base refute this.
Biometric is cinematic, as a cultural interface it is
Visual in the sense of the interactive is emerging. Film from the internet matches this “interactive instrumentation of the human image” description.
Reading email is also becoming increasingly surveiled cinematic (it is moving).
The Island: Shits between the operators view of CCT to the camera image. Match Probability 93% never happens in real life. The British is the most penetrated “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear” motto. Bus bomber London; did not use CCT images as it was not accurate enough.
Operator vision of CCT turning heads on screen…not necessary but figurative.
Informationalized knowledge becomes important in biometric.
Characteristics of behaviour based on physiology. Research by Lisa Cartwright, “Static image proves presence of aberrant behaviour”. Early use of photography in Police , psychiatry.
Early use of film lead to the class of people called The Hysteric. Behaviours that define person captured by cinema.
Biometric cinema marks a return of the early history of viewing of moving image.
The people you are viewing are the people you thing they are: The terrorist, The Queer, and so on
The “facial hit of our fugitive” is the visual recognition on the subject.
Database is how this information is organised. The “gold standard” of interactive cinema.
Research idea: fake interfaces of CCT used in film. Functional is just on the surface.
Promotes the technology but CCT is not a moment for branding. “Macromedia don’t want ot own the image of CCTV soft ware. Email and teleconference is branded in film and promoted. CCTV software is important because we are encouraged to trust it because it si dsatnt.
Amateurs are kept out of it.
The Island: Another clip, closer to the end.
I Love that Picasso
You like Picasso do you Mr Aurant
The girl I brought in will be harvested anyway.
My father was art of the Burnarby rebellion. When he was killed me and my brother were branded so we would be known as less tha human.
When did killing become a business for you.
Oh it is so much more than that….
Clones are secretly grown for their body parts. It is the visual culture of biometrics that enable the clones to penetrate the barriers of the state. The clones are able to break into the sponsors house due to retinal matching on the locks (he is a clone of the owner). However clones are disposable. Are they humans or are they property? The urban environment are covered with CCTV cameras.
“Come on smile for the camera sweetheart”
Biometrics is an aesthetic practice. The way it hails the viewer, the way it tries to convince us of the truth. Biometric cinema function along conventions. Anyone who holds a plate and looks to the front and to the side in a grainy black and white photo will look guilty. Even though we are in a post indexical age of the image people do not believe the image (think Photoshop) these images appeal.
The fake CCTV o The Isfland incorporates the structure of the police mug shot combined to the CCTV image. The linking to governmental bodies of knowledge convince us of the image.
Manovitch urges a move from narrative studies t software studies. The second internet boom (current) has proved Manovitch right. O’Rielly Web 2.0 rhetoric defines the move away from applications to the database. The database has the value rather than the platform. Google, Bittorent are more valuable because the are database orientated. The value of the software is proportional to the size of the data it controls.
Location, identity, public events are examples of such data.
Biometric is built into the concept of valuable internet database. Google gets users to tag information as a game in Google Image Loader.
Part of the wholesale broadcasting of the self. One of the effects of the information network society is the replacement of the name for the number (birthdates) is identity sourcing. The dossier becomes the database for identity.
The database is a cultural construction: Biometric turn
Martin Jay the linguistic turn: a way to understand language as culture construct.
Construction of database is cultural value system and the biometric image illustrates this.
Biometric information indexes the present not the past. When a modern fugitive swipes a credit card the result of the tracking is instant.
Jenkins is optimistic about the possibility of network society. Nakamura; it is too utopian.
Biometric identification satisfies: Not 100% but 93%. It provides information that is good enough. Wikipedia is good enough. Enough to move forward. Not knowledge in the same way “if you were trained in the 80s. Rather than being traditional academic knowledge.
Web 2.0 is similar. We have a facial hit….at 93%.
Is surveillance a media practice? Should we be looking at surveillance and if so how do we deal with genre.
Sleeper Cell, 24, are genres of cinematic surveillance.
Database discourages close reading (from book culture) because it does not stay around for long enough.
Surveillance Camera Players http://www.notbored.org/the-scp.html offers some disturbance to the process described here but not on a large sacle compared to the block busters of Hollywood.