Penitentiary Non-Place Paper

Penitentiary Non-Place

After refusing to fire on civilians in the opening scene of the ­­­1987 film, “The Running Man”, the protagonist, Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is sent to the fictitious “Wilshire Detention Center”.  Set in the year 2017, Southern California has collapsed into a dystopic collection of restricted spaces where a “detention center” has become a work site surrounded by a “sonic deadline”.  This perimeter consists of a series of portable towers that appear to be miniature radar stations.  Each inmate wears an explosive collar that detonates if they cross the barrier.  This prescient scenario (excepting the instant, explosive capital punishment) is becoming reality.  Criminals are being confined to predetermined spaces and movement routines through wireless technology.   The contemporary version of the Panopticon creates new non-places that are interspersed within everyday place.

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