“I use the term convergent supersurfaces to describe the spatial effects of convergent technology on place. Space is disjointed, reconnected, woven, and re- organized into places light enough to rest on the outer landscapes of greater systemic structures, and not heavy enough to dissolve into the systemic core of the institutions of democracy. The concept of convergent supersurface captures both the promise and peril of cyberspaces: ﬂexible enough to sustain a variety of conversations, too ﬂexible to have the weight required for a lasting impact. These spaces develop upon the outer fabrics of traditional democratic institutions, a play upon space bound by its own ﬁxity. At the same time, unless these spaces bear distinct connections to the systemic core of democratic institutions, their ability to effect institutional change is compromised.
Examples? Bloggers are able to exert power to the extent that they successfully capture the attention of mainstream media or a critical mass. YouTube videos are included in the agenda of public affairs only after, and provided, they go viral. Participants in online political discussion groups feel more gratiﬁed and engage when politicians are involved in the conversation, thus suggesting a connection for the group to the systemic conventions of democracy. The concept communicates both the empowerment enabled via the production of multiple reﬂexive spaces and the challenges offered by spaces that are organically generated, and thus may not always support direct systemic connections to core societal institutions.”