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Concept of Anopticism
Anoptisme (français)

If it seems quite paradoxical to name the project of making the collective intelligence visible : "Anopticism" [from the Greek "a" (without) and "optiké" (vision)], it’s certainly because it needs some explanations ...

Of course, the anoptic project is the opposite of the "panopticon" [from the Greek "pan" (all)], which " is a penitentiary architectural type designed by the philosopher Jeremy Bentham" whose “goal [...] is to enable somebody to observe all prisoners without knowing if they are observed, therefore creating a "sensation of an invisible omniscience "(1) for the prisoners.

In a certain manner, the concept of "Anopticism" also differs from the concept of "holopticism" [from the Greek "holos" (whole)], which "consists of a physical or virtual space whose architecture is intentionally designed to give its players the ability to see and perceive all that occurs there "(2). If we consider the opposition of the Greek roots, we could even believe that there is a radical antagonism between Anoptic and holoptical. It's not quite the case: if Anopticism and holopticism, "are designed to give to each individual a modeled representation of space [...] in which he operates" (3), the Anopticism mourns for the idea that the "totality" of this space is the "objectivity" of its representation, it insists instead on the arbitrary and subjectivity of the points of view that govern the models and on the rules that determine them.

For the Anopticism, human relationships are not reducible to the establishment of a cybernetic feedback loop between the group and the individual: the essential is forever invisible to us. The mourning of objectivity is made bearable by the fact that everyone is potentially the author of the points of view and the actor of the implemented rules and codes. In this way, the Anopticism intends to legitimate a "digital perspective" (4) which has to be applied within the social systems.

This perspective is reflected in practice, by anoptic actions. In this context, the "collective intelligence" of a group can only grow if:
  • each individual has access to at least one form of representation of the group's activity,
  • everyone can locate himself in this representation, and can change his/her position by his/her actions,
  • this representation is considered legitimate by everybody.

These collective representations change with the group's activity. They are their dynamic maps, and they are made from certain points of view. The condition of legitimacy can only be fulfilled if :
  • everyone is aware of the reducing character of the maps and of the arbitrary of the points of view that govern it,
  • everyone can act on the rules of making the maps, and on the point of view that governs their design.


(1) EnWikiPedia:Panopticon
(2) TheTransitionner: Holoptisme
(3) Ibid.
(4) http://perspective-numerique.net

ANOPTIQUE is a kind of research group: http://anoptique.com

Pages ayant un lien vers la page courante :
Anoptique



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