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Big Brother Is Still Watching

By Rhizome

Stanza is a London-based artist who specializes in net art, multimedia, and electronic sounds. Stanza is also spying on you. Abuse of Public Domain, his first solo show of networked media art, presents two large-scale projections employing live data from closed-circuit security cameras placed in major urban centres. In 'You Are My Subjects,' a lone camera records images of people passing below on a busy street in New York City. The high vantage point and solitary perspective create a feeling of detached voyeurism--an ivory-towered state of removal from the distant other. 'Authenticity,' on the other hand, fragments the viewer into a state of multiplicity--a street-level crowd, in effect--by drawing images from cameras planted throughout London and merging them into a mesh of gazes. Each work explores notions of selfhood, as mediated through the lens of surveillance culture. At the same time, by making both works available on the internet, the artist turns society's reflection back on itself, creating a kind of narcissistic Utopia in which 'we are all unwitting bit part actors, in the filming of our own lives.' Private peep show on December 8th at London's HTTP Gallery; more public abuse through January 23. - Peggy MacKinnon

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