The Visibility Manifesto


This is one of a series of posts on Visibility.  In these I am thinking about our visibility as part of modern life and how it impacts our individual and shared lives.   I welcome you to think with me.  — Linda

Visibility Landscape Illustration
Some of us crave visibility.  Some of us, by habit or by choice, make ourselves as invisible as possible.  And there are many who have no choice of, or capacity for, being visibile. As a consequence they suffer exclusion, or neglect, or poverty or frustration that invisibility can impose. As a community we lose the invisible voices, talents, products, ideas, contributions. We are less than a community.

Our visibility in the modern world is complex and layered.  We don’t think much about it, yet we make a thousand visibility decisions every day. Because we know the Visible are deemed Successful. The Visible get the spoils at work, in the marketplace, in our community, and from our laws or public policies.  But we also know the “Too Visible” suffer scrutiny or unfair judgements; or lack privacy choices.

Below the surface of visibility is survelliance: visibility that is unwanted or uninvited or a slowly boiling consequence of Big Data in all its varieties.

As our lives are lived inside networks, more connected communities, media; and navigating through a technology-mediated world, it seems wise to explore an ethos for our modern visibility.  So, this is my work-in-progress, a “visibility manifesto:”

Visibility Manifesto

  1. Visibility is currency.

  2. Visibility determines our capacity to advance our causes.

  3. Visibility is an instrument for our everyday battles.

  4. Visibility is a dynamic interplay of humans and non-humans actors.

  5. Assemblages of communications are integral to visibility.

  6. The platform governs who is visible and who is invisible.

  7. Expression is invisible unless it stimulates action.

  8. The Visible People are not The People.

  9. The Visible Commons is not the Public Commons.

  10. Visibility is for the asking, not for the taking.

  11. Visibility is granted and received.

  12. The network collapses identity into our connections.

  13. Chronic invisibility defeats humanity.  It is death by neglect.

  14. Visibility skills are essential in modern life.

  15. Visibility choice is a right.

Categories: Visibility


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