Critical Writing Index

Captured and Controlled: Critiquing Surveillance through The Camera

by Sarah E. K. Smith

Sorting Daemons: Art, Surveillance Regimes and Social Control, 2010, pp. 49-61

Kingston: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 2010

Smith's critcally informed essay attends to the technological advances in surveillance and the shift from a panopticon into a "post-optic sphere" of information, such as biometric data. In the past decade, striking a balance between the "care" of surveillance and the control surveillance exerts has become more difficult as the surge in information gathering and the new depths it explores. Smith attempts to respond to the question "can camera work reveal, expose, and critique surveillance?" through an examination of various video artists and their works. Artists such as Surveillance Camera Players, Steve Mann, Tom Sherman, Ryan Stec and Ruthann Lee are discussed in the contexts of appropriation and repurposing of footage, self-surveillance (recalling Michel Foucault's concept of docile bodies) and counter-surveillance systems as a means of resisitance.

ITEM 2010.028 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Surveillance Camera Players

"Part 3 Miraculous Beginnings" The Dead Weight of a Quarrel HangsWalid Ra'ad

Steve Mann

SUB/EXTROS (1), (2), (3)Tom Sherman

Dead End JobRyan Stec

BIT PlaneBureau of Inverse Technology

Trying to Keep ConcentrateRuthann Lee

Ocularis: Eye SurrogatesTran T. Kim-Trang

Walid Raad