Provocation: Technology, resistance and surveillance in public space

Grommé, Francisca. 2016. Provocation: Technology, resistance and surveillance in public space. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 34(6), pp. 1007-1024. ISSN 0263-7758 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The introduction of technologies that monitor and track individuals to attribute suspicion and guilt has become commonplace in practices of order maintenance in public space. A case study of the introduction of a marker spray in Dutch urban public transport is used to conceptualise the role of technology in everyday resistances against surveillance. The introduction of this technology made available alternative subject positions. The notion of provocation is proposed for the opening up of social spaces by a technology. Through provocation, issues that do not find their expression in commonly accepted protocols and means of evidence are given a voice as a result of defiant, emotional and provisional technology usage. Attending to visible and defiant usages also opens up an agenda for examining the varying intensities at which technology operates.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Subjectivity; public space; resistance; technology; surveillance; provocation

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology > Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) [2016-]


22 May 2016Published Online
1 December 2016Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

26 May 2016 17:46

Last Modified:

14 Apr 2021 13:38

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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