│Anna Porębska (born 11.10.1984 in Bielsko-Biała, Poland) – PhD student of the English philology at the University of Silesia, Poland. Member of the Polish Association of American Studies PAAS, lecturer and translator. In years 2003-2008 she studied English philology at the University of Silesia was granted one-year scholarship at the University Duisburg-Essen in Germany. Living and working in Kraków, she is currently writing her PhD thesis concerning the subject of satire in American culture after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. In her research, she is particularity sensitive to sociological observation and its cultural and literary implications, the analyses of which can be found in, among others : “„Sadness – Repercussions and Reverberations. 9/11 Grief Management in US Political Shows”, “Uncle Sam’s Nightmares. On Islamic Phobias and ‘Americanism’ after 9/11” or in such publications as “ Laughter in the World of Phobias. Social Dimension of American Humor after the Events of 9/11 on the Example of George Carlin’s shows” and “Specelessness limited. Translocation of Spaces after the Attacks of 9/11”.

Binarity and Refactoring of the Real in the Post-9/11 Culture of Surveillance

In times of the speeding development of modern technologies and acceleration of the post 9/11 digital culture, political and social surveillance seem to suffer from an unprecedented lack of identity. Creation of the Internet in which data can be replicated ad infinitum, constituted a real hazard to the basic surveillance figures of ‘the surveillant’ and ‘the surveilled’ and questioned the methods of supervision and information transfer. “Since computer technology at the end of the twentieth century had a major impact on the business of espionage, creating new opportunities for surveillance” (Leach, 2014), contemporary digital supervision seems to reveal, exemplify and herald the end of the binary culture – the natural habitat of espionage ruled by a limited, one-directional political traditions of spying. The rhetoric of the double, in which surveillance could be perceived as a continuous play of the chasing and the chased in compliance with the ethos of evasion and outsmarting, seems to have become itself outsmarted by the birth of the boundless and wireless Internet connections. By engaging the social channels such as Facebook or Twitter with their neverending, updated and refactored influx of information as well as by using latest visual data recorders, both surveillance and sousveillance became commonly accessible for all social groups and appeared to exclude binary approach as a contemporary tool for investigation. This could not have occurred without significant ethical implications and the change of not only the content and the quality of the information, but also nature of the surveillants. Exploration of binarity in the context of modern digitalizing culture is therefore vital for understanding contemporary surveillance processes and establishing one’s own place in the worldwide information network.

Advertisements