They're Watching (2011)

Curated by bsnguyen
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Privacy and security are two aspects of modern life still trying to find an equilibrium. This exhibition is all about surveillance cameras. (View in order as described below, Rhizome isn't properly saving the ordering) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Panopticon" is about how surveillance cameras have entered our lives. It is a room with cameras set up on the floor in two parallel lines. This shows how we don't know who's watching us, what they're doing with that video feed, and, most importantly, what we're supposed to do about it. Thus begins the problem with big brother style surveillance. As Michel Foucault describes, people under constant watch are more likely to behave. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ To demonstrate just how little we know about who is watching us, "YOU ARE MY SUBJECTS," shows real live feed from the cameras of New York City. Requiring only an internet connection, truly, anyone could be watching you. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Similarly, "authenticity" showcases an art gallery of live camera feeds from London. Both pieces work together to show how people are being watched constantly on both sides of the world. However, in contrast to infringement, the two pieces gives one the opportunity to see multiple parts of the two cities all at once, as if being in a hub and looking through many windows of space. The cameras themselves are not bad, video is how we see the world. It is the reason behind having them there in the first place that is debatable. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Though mainly for security purposes, a creative way the CCTV feeds are being used is in "Urban Generation." Live feeds from cameras all over London are taken to make a generative art piece. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Finally, the question of what can we do about this breech in personal privacy arises. "iSee" is an application that gives the "paths of least surveillance". This way a person can avoid the most cameras possible when traveling. Though not exactly a practical means of planning a route, the application is a statement, telling us that there is something we can do to fight back against privacy infringements.

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