structuring absence ..

.. or the latent aspects of satellite technology as metaphor for a collective mirror stage.

The weblog of the Institute of network Cultures just published an interview with Lisa Parks focusing on her most recent book titled ‘Cultures in Orbit‘ and the structuring absence created by today’s use of satellite technology.


Image from Lisa Park’s
Postwar Footprints Project
… Satellites play a key role in today’s global news industry and its “spotlighting of the apparatus” (Elsaesser). However, the key ingredient of the global live connection remains invisible. This is reflected in most of the studies of ‘the televisual’, as Parks calls the infrastructure behind the channels we watch…

excerpt from the interview:

LP:… We could do the same kind of thing with a remote sensing satellite. Remote sensing and satellite espionage are not just scientific or military practices ? they have social and cultural implications. Who is taking photos of the earth? How are those photos being used to produce knowledge about the planet? Who is using the earth’s surface to generate profit? Who is using it to produce spheres of influence? There is a need to re-examine the global material conditions through the rubric of satellite technologies. We need new world maps that show how footprints override nation-state boundaries, how transponders create new neighbors, how orbital views generate fields of political activity, and how the perimeter of the earth is trafficked…
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