It would be great to know German philosopher Jünger Habermas’ opinion on notions of the public sphere now that its boundaries, its structures, and its spaces are shifting so greatly (his theory on the subject are some of the most elaborated). Some argue that with the extreme development in modes of communication in the digital realm, and the absence of tangible architectures, (namely the house and public places) that were previously visibly dividing the private from the public, the notion of the public sphere might be close to extinction. This is even further blurred when the increasingly fragile rights and rules of privacy and ownerships over Internet data play a big part in what we consider private, public, and the grey zones in between.
Whether we agree with it or not, it is undeniable that through the stream of information and documents – both public and personal – that constantly circulate on the Internet, the ‘public sphere of data’ is far from being a static (yet at times blurred) concept built throughout modern times.
The division of roles, the responsibility of the players involved, and the capacities are now pushed toward new directions, and unknown consequences. Traditional hierarchal structures are now challenged by self-empowering services offered by the Internet, thus inevitably affecting the social strata. From political strategies, economical agencies, and democracy itself, the acceleration of data is impacting all the fundamental pillars of our society. These radical changes will be discussed, deconstructed, and questioned throughout the three day international forum <> held at Goldsmiths College, where academics and artists will address these complex changes.