From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search



"Panspectric technologies were initially developed with in signals intelligence. Now they are progressively being transferred to all aspects of every-day life, thus enforcing social order.

The notion of the panspectron was coined by Manuel DeLanda’s in his book War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991), referring mainly technological developments within signal intelligence during the second world war and onwards. According to DeLanda it differs from the panopticon in the nature of its gaze. The panopticist social diagram depended on the actual or potential human gaze employed to survey or induce a state of consciousness through the awareness of a possible surveyor. Warfare, according to Foucault, needed both discipline in order to function smoothly, as well as a bio-political State-apparatus to produce healthy soldiers ready to go to war. The model of the barrack was composed within a social diagram similar to that of the school and the prison, because it employed a system of surveillance, evaluation and discipline. This way, obedient subjectivities were produced necessary for the organisation of large-scale armies and their supporting activities. But the expressive assemblages of obedience, and their opposites - delinquency, depend on a certain content which, one might argue, is about to disappear.

The panspectron, thus, functions in another fashion according to DeLanda:

- There are many differences between the Panopticon and the Panspectron /…/ Instead of positioning some human bodies around a central sensor, a multiplicity of sensors is deployed around all bodies: its antenna farms, spy satellites and cable-traffic intercepts feed into its computers all the information that can be gathered. This is then processed through a series of “filters” or key-word watch lists. The Panspectron does not merely select certain bodies and certain (visual) data about them. Rather, it compiles information about all at the same time, using computers to select the segments of data relevant to its surveillance tasks. (DeLanda 1991:XX)

Schools, barracks and prisons are becoming less all-encompassing as social institutions, even though it may be contested in the case of prisons. But I will argue, along with Deleuze (1991) that there has been an fundamental mutation, which may be followed through technological development and uses of technology. To map present day technologies of surveillance, concepts are desperately needed, and I propose to introduce the notions of phylum as a taxonomic marker of the ‘body plans’ of panspectric technologies. And in order to to trace their historical development, we need the a phylogenetic description of how technologies have emerged and evolved within our present day societies." (