Monday, 17 September 2012

Prison Islands

 Another IM conversation with 'the other', that brings up some points I will write more about in the future.

The other: also I was reading your blog and had a thought
The other: here let me pull up the bit that made me think
The other: it was when you were talking about the prison break
The other: "The inmates managed to escape the prison, but not the Island, demonstrating the reason for the institution's siting."
The artist: There's more to mention on that
The artist: The prison developed from a military barracks
The artist: back during the napoleonic wars
The other: aye?
The artist: when soldiering wasn't exactly voluntary
The other: aah
The artist: They bought them over here for what they'd call 'militarisation' these days
The other: ah
The other: anyway you mention Discipline and Punish (which I haven't read) and the panopticon as a metaphor for social control
The artist: Aye
The other: I'm not sure what it is I'm getting at
The other: essentially, due to its geographic isolation do you think there's something uh
The artist: I'm not toeing the full line from Foucault. As I try to get across, Foucault developed his panopticism metaphor before modern mass surveillance was a reality, and his ideas are actually a little more esotetic
The other: prison culturey about living on an Island?
The artist: Hmn
The other: because there's a bit in your introduction about the homesickness
The other: when you moved off the island
The other: and it made me think about the "can't make it on the outside" aspect of prisons
The other: and how islands are natural locations for prisons
The artist: Oh aye
The artist: There's a bit that I've been trying to think how to tackle for ages
The artist: Like, one of the initial ideas
The artist: About how being bought up on an island affects the individual psychologically
The artist: You're always aware of limits
The artist: Like, you can't just potentially step beyond a certain point and expand your horizons
The artist: it takes a very definite logistical leap
The other: aye
The artist: On the positive side of that, you have the idea that your whole environment is in some way knowable
The artist: Like, there's a feeling of safety, on an island, that's maybe what makes the place appeal to retirees, especially of the small c middle england variety
The artist: Like, you always know what's coming, people can't get behind you
The artist: This is going to seem weird but it's something I started thinking about with my own psychology in terms of how I approach strategy games
The other go on
The artist: I play extremely defensively, basically
The artist: expanding to fill natural geographic borders on the map 
The artist: holding those
The other: right
The other: please continue, this is interesting
The artist: Well, it's something I thought of when I was trying to improve my performance tactically
The artist: be more mobile, take more risks
The artist: I'm not sure how to articulate it well 
The other: just ramble a bit
The other: I'm sure it'll make sense eventually
The artist: Aye, maybe
The artist: I'll record this for the blog, by the way, if you don't mind
The other: not at all
The artist: But yeah, I tried to analyse why I thought like that tactically, why defence is always more important to me than attack
The artist: and I came up with the idea that it might be something to do with how I'd personally reacted to being bought up on an islandThe artist: I don't know
The artist: It might be a completely odd train of thought
The other: no it's not odd
The other: just what about being raised on an island do you think led to that line of strategy?
The other: I'd rather hear you ramble about this than make extrapolations about your personal psychology

The artist: Well, as I said, I think it's that thing of the coastline
The artist: the knowability, the idea of that boundary as an edge of knowledge, a limit of safety between the known and the unknown
The artist: You get what I'm saying?
The other: aye
The other: hmm
The other: the whole environment being in some way knowable thing
The other: does it apply to the people, as well?
The artist: Probably
The artist: Although maybe not as strongly in my case
The artist: I mean, I definitely feel more comfortable on the island, but I've always had a bit of a being-an-outsider problem
The other: aye
The other: well you'd be very visible in any sort of insular community
The other: not you personally
The other: but anyone
The other: I'd expect
The artist: Aye
The artist: I mean, obviously it depends on how visibly weird I'm being at any time
The other:  aye

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