Sunday, 5 October 2014

Post 9: Ubiquitous Media in the City

I probably seem like a technophobe the way I've written about technology on this blog (though I'm not), but regarding media in the city, a couple things come to mind. The first is that freaky as fuck Geisha from Blade Runner.

At least for the present, electronic screens in the City tend to be little more than animated billboards. They're kinda boring to be honest, and the fact that these screens seem to only be used for commercial interests shows an unfair advantage with them, as only rich people and companies can afford to use them to disseminate ideas. The last time I saw a public screen in town that wasn't just a glorified billboard was when the Rugby World Cup was on, and they set up screens on the Viaduct. 

The second thing that came to mind was surveillance (and yes, I know that topic was two weeks ago) 

That article discusses Auckland's plans to implement facial recognition cameras around Auckland. While the justification of cutting down crime sounds legit, going back to the whole idea of panoptic surveillance, I'd feel uncomfortable knowing I'm being watched wherever I go. Like is Auckland City really that crime-ridden? I'm already paranoid enough that my Smartphone can let people know where I am if I use the GPS, so knowing that someone can be watching what I do and know who I am while I'm doing it just drives that up even more.

So basically what I'm trying to say is, while media's growing ubiquity around the city may sound like something pretty cool, especially if we get something like a public TV or whatever, one should have a look at what this ubiquitous media's being used for, which at the moment seems to favour those in control, either those with money (such as the corporations who use those animated billboards), or the government (regarding surveillance). If there was some way to democratise these ubiquitous media developments, maybe I'd be a bit less pessimistic. But right now, we have all this awesome shit that clearly plays favourites.

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