A surveilling installation that exposes the reality of mass of surveillance
Inspired by the system of control of the same name, we created the project “Panopticon”, an interactive media sculpture that breaks the illusion of privacy and control of our digital identity and physical presence. Multiple camera rigs monitor users throughout the exhibition space, tracking and capturing faces, and collecting the facial data to be projected on a semi-torus sculpture.
The installation is made in two parts, hidden cameras laid out through the space that capture visitors without their awareness and a central video sculpture, that identifies the viewers and presidents them with their surveilled image.
In the age of mass surveillance and commoditized information, we are all, willingly or not, constantly watched. Our devices, online presence, transaction history and even physical presence have become an asset for social network, world governments and corporations to own - we live in a digital panopticon devoid of consent and, in many cases, even awareness. As in Bentham’s architecture, the watchman’s all-seeing eye keeps us from misstepping and policing ourselves.
Through Panopticon, we've created an experience of being both the "observer" and the "observer". It is a critique and a wakeup call to the alarming prevalence of mass surveillance all around us, to how tracking and surveillance devices have become largely invisible to us and to how insensitive we have become toward privacy invasion.
Bill of Materials
laser-cut modeled foam core
Apple Mac Minis
Logitech c920 webcams
LG Short-throw projector
Adobe Premiere CC
Amazon AWS Rekognition