Session 4.1.4: PANEL: Law and the Regulation of the Senses I - Cancelled

PANEL: Law and the Regulation of the Senses I
9:30, Sunday 9 May 2021 (1 hour 30 minutes)
Break    11:00 AM to 11:30 AM (30 minutes)

Answering the still relevant call for more “sensuous scholarship” (Stoller 1997), this series of three sessions asks: How are we governed through our senses in everyday life? We use sensuous governance to frame the ways in which sensing – embodied knowing, being, and inter-acting in the world – is integrated into the juridification of social problems (see Holmberg 2014). Sensuous governance invites us to consider what a governing legal rationality of the sensorial might look like – or more accurately – feel like. We ask: How do sensory attributes become quantified and amenable to calculation and use as evidence? Through which technologies and techniques do we render the sensorium knowable and legible to courts? How do differently sensing and sensed subjects get streamed into different echelons of social organization, institutions and socio-legal spaces? How do governmental agents use their sensory impressions in order to render judgement, in particular judgement with moral and legal consequence? Finally, how does sensuous governance shape our perceptions of right and wrong?

John Shiga, Governing the “drone stare”: Biogovernance, automation and nonhuman sensing,Ryerson University, Canada - MOVED TO SESSION 4.2.2: ILLUMINATION

This paper explores legal-sensory issues arising from the diffusion of UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or “drone” technology from the military into society more broadly. While there is a large body of literature on military applications of drones, considerably less scholarly attention has been given to consumer drones and their integration into contexts as diverse as policing, the creative industries and activism and advocacy. This paper traces the rise of consumer drones and their relation to broader shifts in both the way human and nonhuman senses are mobilized in systems of biogovernance and the way drones operate as contested sites for the automation of certain forms of regulatory activity that affect how and what we sense. The paper traces the nexus of technologies, institutions and practices which are shaping drone sensing, including the firms who embed certain "ways of seeing" into drone-based computer vision, digital modelling, avionics, and so forth but also the regulatory institutions, community-based groups and others who are contributing to the development of social norms, laws and technology-based controls that shape the way drones produce and mediate sensory data.

Sean Mulcahy, Digital (legal) performance, haptic potentiality and the kinesphere,Warwick University, UK

Theatre and law are being reshaped by the introduction of video-link testimony and other technology that distort the unity of shared time and space between actor and spectator (Auslander 1999; Feigenson & Spiesel 2009). The emergence of the ‘videosphere’ in court trials and theatre productions demands greater attention (Goodrich 2009). While research indicates that the use of video-link in court does not alter jurors’ perceptions as to the veracity of testimony, there is less research on how the distortion of time and space caused by the use of video affects the performance and its reception by the wider public. Through advancing an approach of law as performance, I contribute new insights into the existing scholarship on video-links in court proceedings. I examine how the ‘videosphere’ of the court impacts legal performance, in particular, its impact on the notion of bodies together in space and theatre practitioner Phillip Zarrilli’s notion of the ‘kinesphere’. I use the idea of 'haptic potentiality' in live performance and how the inability to touch an actor may affect their reception through video-link. I also raise questions of why liveness and the moment of shared time and space between actor and audience matters to legal and theatrical performance. Can video-link, while enabling ease of participation in court proceedings, lead to somatic dislocation, haptic isolation and the exclusion of testifiers?

Ryerson University