All this time while we were waiting for Frank Ocean to drop his new album Frank Ocean was waiting on us.
In Foucault’s ‘Panopticon’ the philosopher describes an 18th century precursor to today’s modern prison system — a tower manned by a watchman – surrounded by a circular corridor of cells.
Although it is impossible for a single figure to watch all the cells at once – the idea that a prisoner is being watched by the all-seeing eye of the building’s core psychologically dictates prisoners modify their behavior in response to the tower’s watchful presence.
But the uncomfortable brilliance of this structure the portion often ignored in Foucault’s text – is that the prisoners need no watchman in order perform as if there is one.
So powerful is the mind’s ability to project consequence that a person will modify behavior to fit the context of contained space.Social media is Panoptes — the hundred-eyed giant from which Foucault’s panoptic essay gained its name.In order to survive the reign of the giant it is nearly impossible for a person to go through a moment without response to the hundred eyes — to snap – to tweet – to flutter off our existence in image and meme — as if our very lives depend upon it.
In this world of the giant and the giant tower – Frank Ocean was almost a casualty.