Networked Publics Conference and Media Festival April 28 + 29

Networked Publics, the research group that I’ve been leading, together with Mimi Ito, will be holding an end of the academic year conference this April as a milestone toward the production of a collaboratively written book on the topic.

Annenberg Center for Communication
University of Southern California
April 28-29, 2006

This two-day event will bring together new media scholars and practitioners to exhibit and discuss the roles of audiences, activists, and producers in maturing networked media ecologies. The event is organized by the Networked Publics fellowship program ( at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg Center for Communication.

The conference includes a media festival and an academic program.
”¬¢ “Do-It-Yourself: Emergent Networked Culture,” is an experimental news and entertainment media festival featuring new kinds of viral, remixed, and amateur media works enabled by current networked ecologies. Categories of curated work include: political remix videos, the digital handmade, anime music videos, machinima, alternative news, network hacks and hacked networks.
”¬¢ The academic program is dedicated to three topics: Politics, Infrastructure and Place. For each of these topics, netpublics fellows will convene a session to interrogate current issues and controversies related to emergent networked ecologies.

The format of the event is designed to promote interaction and dialog across a diverse set of participants. Our goal is to facilitate conversation on topics of shared concern and a mixture of formats that include screenings, debates, and interaction around computer kiosks.

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Los Angeles River, Concrete Utopia

Geoff Manaugh, normally of BLDGBLOG has a piece at on the Los Angeles River as a concrete utopia. Where other cities are content to put their errant rivers underground, for the most part Los Angeles displays its watercourse on the surface but encases it in concrete, like so much of the city’s terrain. As we gaze on the images Geoff has collected and visit the web sites he recommends, we are led to ask, ass he does: is the river something dreamt up (retroactively) by Superstudio?
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blackstar revisited

At the blog he maintains at the Encyclopedia Astronautica, by far the Internet’s best site on spacecraft, Mark Wade remarks on the Blackstar controversy, suggesting that if there are problems with the Aviation Week article, it is not as weak as its critics suggest. What really bothers Wade is what bothers me. That this story””?which certainly is far more interesting than, say the Monica Lewinksy scandal””?has received virtually no attention in traditional press venues. That, unfortunately, says quite a bit about culture today and the lack of interest in space and aviation in the public at large.
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how to build a glass staircase rarely puts works of architecture on the front page, but if Steve Jobs is listed as lead designer, that’s another story. has a large collection of information on the Apple Stores, good reading for anyone interested in retail design. The highlight, however, and what brought me to the site is their analysis of the glass staircases at the flagship stores.
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Annenberg Principles on Network Neutrality

The Annenberg Center for Communication, where I am a resident fellow this year recently brought together a group of senior communication experts from industry, academia, and consumer groups to discuss how to begin to bridge differences over the issue of network neutrality. Together, this group developed the Annenberg Principles for Network Neutrality, a set of key points to serve as a base for discussions on the topic in the future.
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Map of the U. S. internet

What does the Internet look like? To some degree, this question is impossible to answer. The infrastructure of the Internet is invisible and much of the information about telecom links is proprietary. Nevertheless, it is possible to make a map of sorts and there have been numerous attempts to do so. A blog post at Information Aesthetics links to a remarkably detailed map produced by CIO magazine. Unlike most other such maps, this one carries actual names of the 134,855 routers represented. CIO Senior Writer Ben Worthen, who produced the map with Bill Cheswick of Lumeta suggests that what it tells us is that the debate on net neutrality needs to be understood not only in terms of the last mile, but also in terms of the backbone. The players are increasingly the same.
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saskia sassen lecture 24 march @ networked publics group

Saskia Sassen will be at the Netpublics research group, speaking on Networks, Power & Democracy, March 23, 2006, 2:00 ”“ 4:00 pm

at the Annenberg Center for Communication, 734 W. Adams Blvd.

Between Hoover and Figueroa, street parking available on Adams.

Saskia Sassen is the Ralph Lewis Professor of Sociology at the University of Chicago, and Centennial Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics. Selected publications include Denationalization: Territory, Authority and Rights (2005), Digital Formations: Information Technologies and New Architectures in the Global Realm, Princeton University Press (2005), Global Networks/Linked Cities (2002), Guests and Aliens (1999), Globalization and Its Discontents (1998), Losing Control? Sovereignty in an Age of Globalization. (1996), The Global City: New York London Tokyo. (1991. New ed., 2001), and The Mobility of Labor and Capital (1998).

Her books have been translated into thirteen languages. She has served as co-director of the Economy Section of the Global Chicago Project, a Member of the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Urban Data Sets, a Member of the Council of Foreign Relations, and Chair of the newly formed Information Technology, International Cooperation and Global Security Committee of the SSRC.

For more information please contact
JoAnn Hanley
Networked Publics
USC Annenberg Center
213 743-2524

SAVE THE DATE: The Networked Publics Conference is on April 28 and 29!

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eyal weizman on the politics of verticality

In 2002, Tel Aviv-based architect Eyal Weizman posted his fascinating thesis on the politics of verticality at This project is a remarkable analysis of the three-dimensional battle over the West Bank. Weizman’s declared goal is to explain the conflict through spatial terms, something that he hopes counters the complexity of the situation which, he argues, serves Israel politicians seeking to maintain the status quo. As he explains, West Bank settlements are built on hilltops to serve as “urban-scale optical devices” that overlook Palestinian communities below. Reading this project, we begin to wonder how other forms, more familiar forms of sprawl play political roles.

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