Anne Kaun, Södertörns högskola, håller i seminariet.
Prison Media – Work, Architecture and Tech Development
Abstract During this seminar I will present my co-authored, forthcoming book entitled Prison Media. In the book, we explore media produced in and for the prison as well as prisons as media. The main aim is to make visible how the prison as a social institution has contributed to our contemporary media systems and is both a place of media production and development as well as medium in and of itself. The starting point is to question the understanding of prisons as being circumscribed places, removed from the rest of society. In Prison Media we argue that prison work, prison architecture and prison technology development have been essential to the development of media infrastructures and media distribution more generally. Hence, we cannot understand how media infrastructures reinforce the larger operations of power and authority without understanding the contribution of prisons to the production, maintenance and repurposing of media.
The book explores the role of prisons for and as media infrastructure through three empirical lenses: work, architecture and technology. During the presentation I will focus on the latter, namely the role of prisons for new technology development. Drawing on both an analysis of sociotechnical imaginaries of the smart prisons and tracing the export of prison tech into other sectors of society, we argue that prisons emerge as an important site for testing new technologies; the prisons figures as a testbed for radical innovation.