New Sciences of Protection Conference: Plenary 3 with Tim Luke (Design as Defence) and Benjamin Bratton (Dissimulation and Terrorism)
Tim Luke and Benjamin Bratton discussed the architecture of safe living in both its actual and virtual dimensions. ‘Architecture’ is concerned with both the concrete material structuring of a space, but also with the projection of form, with a particular social-political-technical imaginary. ‘Architects,’ Benjamin Bratton reminded us, are concerned with both actual and possible cities. Discussing the architecture of designs for safe living thus involves a double-referent: to the actual architecture of the design and to the promise of safe living which is always to-come.
The SpotShotter tool is a gunfire detector gadget. Its wireless sensors pick up the sound of gunshots and differentiate sfrom other loud noises, such as fireworks. When a gun goes off, a sound wave registers on the device, which sends a message within seconds to the police dispatch computers. It can detect gunfire as close as 10 feet away in a two-mile range.
The SpotShotter provides law enforcement officials with an interesting means of forensic evaluation. By affixing acoustic sensors to trees, telephone poles, and other towering structures, the SpotShotter monitors the auditory signature of gunshots. When a shot is fired and detected, the SpotShotter calculates the position from which it was fired, based on acoustic information received by the sensors, then sends the data (via phone lines) to a central server, which law enforcement agents can access for their investigation.
A similar device used in the military is the “Boomerang” microphone, which is mounted to an army vehicle (HMMWV), and is an acoustic system designed to detect the range and elevation of incoming small arms fire. The “Boomerang” system is being developed by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory in Quantico, VA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Photo courtesy Marine Corps Warfighting Lab via Office of Naval Research
Read more about crimebusting at Law Enforcement News
via Bruce Schneier blog (thanks James King)
Robert Ransick (Media Artist and Professor of Digital Arts, Bennington College)
Casa Segura / Safe House
Robert’s project highlights various issues dealing with immigration, border control, those who cross the US/Mexico border and those who live near the border. His work can be seen on his casasegura blog and is currently exhibited at the LAND WARS exhibition at the Te Tuhi centre for the arts in Southern Auckland.
Cross disciplinary practices are his interest: he is an artist and designer and currently the Professor of Digital Arts at Bennington College,Vermont USA . He visits various design classes and positions his work in visual and fine art context. Borrows from strategies of design. Gets students to read social science documentation. He is very sensitive to the ideas that Dunne + Raby address in their work.
Addressing Fear Neuroscience institute visit, spent time to meet neuroscientists. Trying to match up with their disciplines. Learnt about the amygdala. Part of the brain that dictates fear and response. Preconscious. Amygdala remembers the pain from when you get a bee sting, next time you see a bee you fear the bee and the heart rate goes up, adrenalin, you flee. Fear is a terrific motivator and controller.Government encourages this fear to allow emails to be read, pursue surveillance policies etc. Politics of fear: powerful in relation to how our brain works. The subject of Immigration is now mixed with and correlates to Osama bin Laden to immigrants crossing the border and the fear of another catastrophic disaster. The US and Mexicio border in the South West runs along California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas. Interested in the illegal immigrants, crossing the border, the property owners and the larger populous and how we learn about migrants and border control. Robert concentrates on how we try to help the populous to think about these things.
A CONFIDENTIAL MEMO discussing the IF-POLITICS membership and duties of the Lancaster University Expert Assessors of Tower Hamlets Unregulated Zone from the UK Government Regulation Office, Division 3496723. Source: ANON
Taking its lead from recent high-profile experiments in the Netherlands and Germany , the Kensington and Chelsea council wants to begin removing traffic lights from Exhibition Road. It is part of an audacious campaign by the council to forge modern ‘shared streetscapes’ where eye contact between motorists and pedestrians and simple common sense replace a ‘clutter’ of bollards and barriers, traffic lights, street signs and speed cameras.
via The Observer
Brian P. Bloomfield & Theo Vurdubakis – Department of Organisation, Work and Technology, Lancaster University
ABSTRACT: Yucca Mountain in Nye County, Nevada (USA), is the site of a very ambitious project to construct an underground repository for high-level nuclear waste. The object of scientific research and planning for over 20 years, and still facing significant political and legal challenges, the project aims to transport thousands of tons of radioactive waste from sites across the USA for storage at Yucca Mountain where it is meant to be kept safe for some10,000 years. Examination of the project highlights the relationships between social boundaries (proximity), language, and risk, geology and technoscience, in which the effort to realise safety materially (through the repository, and its situation within the local geology and geography) is complemented by efforts to communicate the dangers held within the mountain to the unknown (and unknowable) peoples of the distant future.
Peter Schwartz (founder of Global Business Network & wrote The Art of the Long View: see my FOSK blog entry) writes about the future of Yucca Mountain on The Long Now Foundation blog
This paper stems from an ESRC funded project that uses a combination of traditional and novel techniques to gain a deeper understanding of the school journey. A group of 30 teenagers were asked to use a customised mobile phone application, which automatically recorded their routes, to take photographs and write texts to describe their journeys. These images and texts were subsequently used in interviews with the teenagers to explore factors influencing the choice of route. In this paper we focus on visible and invisible dangers associated with such journeys and consider how this information may be used in the design of safer journeys.
Download The school journey presentation
Mike Hodson and Simon Marvin – Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF), Salford University
ABSTRACT: Secure urbanism and resilient infrastructure argues that a new logic is beginning to reshape the material development of urban infrastructure networks both within and between cities. World cities are strategically assessing the resilience of their critical infrastructure networks in a period of resource constraint and climate change and in response are developing strategies designed to ensure their continued reproduction. Conventional responses to resource issues have tended to focus on constantly extending the reach of cities’ socio-technical networks to draw in ever more distant energy, water and material resources. Yet concern about “ecological security” challenges such traditional strategies because the question of “systemic preparation” for a period of climate change and resource use becomes a fundamental criteria in assessing the degree to which cites can continue to (attempt) to guarantee their material reproduction. The paper argues that there are three critical elements to the new logic of infrastructure development. The first strategy concerns the degree to which cities are “strategically protected” in terms of their preparedness for adaptation – dealing with heat and enhancing flood protection infrastructure. The second strategy concerns the way that cities’ resource bases are “strategically resilient”, which is how cities can guarantee sufficient access to key energy resources and internal mobility that are low carbon and secure. Cities are attempting to strategically withdraw from national and regional infrastructure and develop new decentralised systems within the city to increase levels of self-sufficiency. The third strategy concerns the development of new “secure global agglomerations”, particularly of new mobility systems – biofuels, hydrogen, and hybrids that can guarantee continued interconnection between world cities. Using a range of evidence we seek to demonstrate that premium world cities are collectively developing this new logic of infrastructural development – often with national governments and key corporates. The paper seeks to outline the key elements of these new strategies that are themselves being touted as emblematic new configurations that can be unproblematically inserted into other contexts. Consequently we critically assess their relevance to ordinary cities and megacities of the global south.
Download Mike & Simons’s presentation> Secure Urbanism and Resilient Infrastructure
Department of Psychology, Lancaster University – Mark Levine and John Dixon
ABSTRACT:This paper will present data from a Home Office funded study of the impact of public order measures like CCTV surveillance and street drinking legislation on social relations in public space. The focus of the research was the town square in Lancaster city centre. Data comprised a survey (n=808) and in-situ interviews (n= 59) with users of the town square including teenagers, mothers with young children, homeless people, travellers, commercial workers and the elderly. The paper will concentrate on one emergent property of the analysis. Where most public order research focuses on concepts of ‘risk’ and ‘trust’, we explore the impact of CCTV surveillance on ideas of social responsibility. In particular, we present evidence that support for CCTV is related to lower feelings of responsibility for the welfare of others who might be co-present in public space. We consider this in terms of the idea of diffusion of responsibility to the CCTV apparatus. We also examine, against a background of high levels of support for CCTV, the tensions between ideas of freedom and accountability that are revealed in talk about that support. We draw these out by comparing and contrasting talk about CCTV cameras with talk about speed (Gatso) cameras.
Download Mark & John’s presentation> Locating Social Reponsibility: CCTV & Public Space ppt