[-empyre-] the netopticon

Heidi May mayh at ecuad.ca
Tue Jan 11 16:59:11 EST 2011

Hello All,

Excellent ideas being posted so far! And the photo of the MGM logo  
lion - what a find! I'm looking forward to all the discussions this  

To add to the artworks already listed that deal with surveillance/ 
sousveillance and ideas of the panopticon, I thought I would post  
links to a couple of the projects exhibited in Vancouver in relation  
to and/or for the duration of the Olympics last February:

Code.Lab, by project leaders M. Simon Levin and Jer Thorpe (check out  
the projects page for multiple projects)

We Are Watching, by Rina Liddle
"We Are Watching by Rina Liddle is both in and beside Jeffrey Boone  
Gallery on the ground floor at 140 - 1 East Cordova. It explores a  
term I hadn’t heard before: “sousveillance” or the contemporary  
phenomenon of recording an event with a hand-held electronic device by  
a participant. Outdoors, unedited YouTube-style videos of 2010-related  
events, are projected onto the east wall. They include jerky hand-held  
recordings of Wayne Gretzky lighting the Olympic cauldron on Friday at  
the Convention Centre. What’s interesting about the videos is that  
they don’t focus on an individual or on creating much of a narrative.  
Instead, the digital recordings submitted by members of the public  
focus on masses of people. They also transmit the chaos and energy of  
the street much better than polished professional videos.
Anyone who wants to be part of the project can send video footage  
recorded by cellphone or any other device of the Olympic torch relay  
or any other 2010-related events to weRwatching2010 at gmail.com. After  
the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, a catalogue will be published  
with the unofficial visual history of the entire event." (Vancouver  
Sun, Feb 18, 2010)


Looking at these works also inspired me to look back at the  
Surveillance Camera Players (http://www.notbored.org/the-scp.html) and  
the multiple videos uploaded to youtube.

I find that many artists today are also exploring concepts of  
surveillance and watching, undoubtedly influenced by the internet and  
Web 2.0 technologies, but are doing so in a subtle manner without the  
camera per se. For example, The London Wall (http://www.thomson-craighead.net/docs/londonwall.html 
) by fellow empyre discussants Thompson & Craighead comes to mind.


Heidi May

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