File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2004/foucault.0405, message 16

Subject: Re: Panopticon Reversed
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 18:59:30 +1000

It is not often discussed that Bentham's design included an elaborate 
tunnel system whereby people from society could come into the structure 
and emerge in the central tower to watch the prisoners and also the guards 
watching the prisoners). Not sure whether this connects functionally with 
the ritual display of the mad for profit that Foucault talks about in 
chapter 2 of Madness and Civilization, but my sense is that the gaze was 
never understood to be unidimensional  (hence "panopticon reversed" 
doesn't work for me as a descriptor). I like Lynn Fendler's concept of the 
"ricochet of the gaze" here as a way of underscoring that Bentham's plan 
was to govern *all* of society through architectural technology, not 
merely the imprisoned. Does this mean that the new 'feral' media forms 
that evade politico-military censorship and give possibility to new 
economies of gaze are a sign of post- or retro-panoptic society, or maybe 
rather a sign of panoptic work par excellence? 

"max neill" <>
Sent by: owner-foucault-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
10/05/2004 05:34 AM
Please respond to foucault

        To:     foucault-AT-lists.village.Virginia.EDU
        Subject:        Panopticon Reversed

Any opinions on the apparent reversal of the 'Panopticon Effect' at Abu 
Ghraib, where now the gaze of the world is focussed on the jailers?

"We speak and the word goes beyond us to consequences and ends which we 
not conceived of" Gadamer

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