Salah J. Khan received degrees from the Universities of California at Berkeley and Irvine and is an associate professor at the Autonomous University of Madrid. He is the author of Revolución e ironía en la Francia del siglo XIX published by Anthropos in Barcelona, as well as, among other articles, “Sexual Commodification and Memory in L´éducation sentimentale” (Studi Francesi, Italy) “L’onomastique ouverte de Proust dans ‘Noms de pays: le nom’“ (French Forum, USA) and “`L’hallucination, cet hôte étrange´: les limites de la raison au Club des Hachichins” (Çédille, Spain). His research interests focus on experience and representation in the margins.
Resistance and the Info-sphere
The generalized use of so-called smart phones, the remarkable speed of their development, and the importance of algorithms in enhancing the willingness of users to increase their dependence on “new and improved” products and services have, today, become the norm. Moving beyond traditional state censorship that targets certain races, religions, sexual orientations, cultural activities, etc., empire now not only allows but encourages individuals to construct and promote their self-image in the hyper-realm of social media. While it has indeed been used effectively to resist state power, the new technology appears to thrive at the expense of essential elements of our human experience: reflection and even daydreaming are being replaced by disincarnated chatter and surfing. The works of artists and social critics such as Rimbaud, Odell, the Situationists, and Agamben shed light on the dynamics of loss of agency that these powerful and ubiquitous tools of monetizing private information promote. Methods and limitations of today´s growing resistance to the info-sphere will be the topic of our discussion.
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