[Panel 1: Technologization of Public Spaces. Thursday, March 10, 2011, 9:15 – 10:45 am]
"Last summer, while having a drink at the cafés of the small seaport where I spent my holidays, clients of various ages were connecting their laptops to the internet and checking their email. I felt as surprised as when, during the first half of the 1990s, in London, I saw passersby talking on the mobile phone. I knew about these technologies but I was not aware of their massive social use, especially in holiday places or out on the street. Such changes take place extremely fast, but they make us think about the technological, social, economic and cultural causes and consequences of those alterations, which is what I do here. In order to understand them, I work concepts such as relation between transportation, communication and culture (Carey, 1992; Packer, 2006; Urry, 2010), networks (Castells, 2002), consuming places (Urry, 2003), contraction of time and space (Virilio, 1995, 1996; Urry, 2003), public and private life (Flichy, 1995), strong and weak bonds (Urry, 2010; Castells, 2002) and cultures of speed, mobility and hypermobility (Urry, 2003, 2010; Vannini, 2009), and their prosthesis, extensions (McLuhan, 1997) and biomechanical additions (Virilio, 1995). The text seeks to understand the relationship between means of communication and transportation in society and stresses the impact of new electronic devices on people’s lives and, especially, on their holidays and free time. [...]".