Territories and Networks

Territories and Networks

“Arguably, there is a need to develop a territorology of the new media. The network has often been conceptualised as almost the opposite of the territory, on the basis of the fact that the former would be discontinuous while the latter would be continuous (Levy 1994; Jessop et al. 2008). However, the absolute distinction between territories and networks is not very well placed (Brighenti 2010a). In fact, networks are a specific type of territory, in which access points are hierarchically arranged, ideally to the point of closing all access ways except the predetermined ones, and in which speeds of connection are similarly sorted according to hierarchical demands.

Thus, the network should be better conceived of as a territory in which a specific visibility regime is instituted: in any network topology, the visibilisation emphasis is placed not on territorial boundaries but on some selected territorial flows—which of course does not at all mean that boundaries are absent; quite the contrary, boundaries are absolutely necessary to institute networks, at the very moment that attention is drawn away from them.”

Andrea Mubi Brighenti | Visibility in Social Theory and Social Research

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