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<eyebeam><blast> territory

When we look for traces of societal processes in the visual field, this
field becomes 'urbanized.'  When we look at the constitution of
contemporary urban space -- the site upon which global processes are
often most vividly inscribed -- we figure it in terms of
representations.  Perhaps the figuring of these negotiations between
image and urbanity, and the nature of public space embroiled therein, is
what network artistic practice has to offer -- along with the procedures
of identification (linked to emerging forms of citizenship) that animate
the realm.  

I have a question for Saskia Sassen.  In your work you look carefully at
the dynamic between urban, national, and global territory; between
mobility and agglomeration; between the social order and the economic
order.  You have continually countered one-sided emphases on
decentralization and flexibilization with an emphasis on the new forms
of centralization that globalization creates.  Similarly, you have
argued that while the power of financial networks rests on a distributed
power, it also operates as a concentrated power.  In this case you open
the possibility that networked power is not inherently distributive, as
it is often seen.  

Within this landscape you suggest that the representation of the net has
to be subjected to critical examination, and that the net may have to
reinvent its self-representation as a universal space.  While it may
continue to be a space for democratic practices, it will be so partly as
a form of resistance against centralizing and hierarchical power.  So
therefore rather than caught up in the romance of freedom and
new-frontier interconnectivity, the net becomes a space for
contestation.  My question then concerns how a contestatory network
practice would locate itself, without falling into a 'romance of
resistance.' I am wondering if you could elaborate on these issues. 
Related to this is the representation of democracy itself, whose focus
on freedom and consensus hinders a more careful consideration of its
agonistic dynamic, its constitution in terms of vibrant conflicts of
positions and interests.

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