here intensifies the subversive side of power. As long as power is only repressive, it is not as strong. Medicine based on technology puts patients at the mercy of machines and their »omnipotence«. The pictures used for Docile Bodies come mostly from French hospitals, in which technological surveillance in the body itself makes it possible for surgeons and physicists to provide the most effective and safest treatment. The body becomes a dehumanized object performed upon by knowledge. Ultimately, only those 'in the know' can make decisions about the use and benefits of the new technologies, and thus also about the life of the patients. The invalid is at the mercy of this »gentle« power.
Politics of Bacteria, commissioned in 1995 by the Musée d'art moderne, Villeneuve d'Ascq [Lille] for the exhibition The World after Photography, is the last work in the trilogy. Here, Baltz clearly shows us the repressive side of power by characterizing government and administration as areas of masculinity and power. Most of the photographs were taken in the new Finance Ministry in Bercy. The building, filled with state-of-the-art technology and with its own helicopter pad and wharf, provides an almost James-Bond-like backdrop.
The description of the late capitalist body as being an object constantly at the mercy of the abstract flow of figures, money, and the market takes up the concept of French philosophers like Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guttari. Baltz's view of the problematic entirety of the body continues his notion of cities and buildings as being places pervaded by the flow of information. Politics of Bacteria [the title comes from Thomas Pynchon] portrays a male world built around the idea of organized force sanctioned by the state, whose different aspects are embodied by the male figures and their bodily postures.
The dimensions of all three works are nearly the same [about 12 m long, 2 or 2.5 m high], as are the effects of the photographic montage technique. Baltz uses photography as a means of taking stock of situations in a sober, unromantic, clear-minded way. He leaves any personal and emotional involvement to the viewer. By replacing the illusion of photographic skill with an apparently mechanistical description using ready-made materials, Baltz turns his back on traditional artistic photography. His photographs, direct and aiming at the unfinished, contradict middle-class conventions of »seeing« and show where the problem lies.
The trilogy creates a picture of the technologies that determine our daily lives to an ever greater extent and of the power structures made possible by them in their many and various forms. The process of surveillance itself is more difficult to see than the technologies that make it possible. Baltz uses these as a metaphorical pointer to what lies behind them. His trilogy reveals characteristics of this surveillance and power system while critically questioning the current social situation and politics of power, and makes viewers aware of hidden, latent, yet omnipresent structures of power and force. 
1 Cf. letter of the artist to the author, 23 June 2001. Michel Foucault, Überwachen und Strafen. Die Geburt des Gefängnisses, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 1992 [Original edition: Surveiller et punir. La naissance de la prison, Edition Gallimard, 1975]. ^
2 Letter of the artist to the author, 23 June 2001. ^
3 Urs Stahel, Das große Spektakel, in Lewis Baltz. Regel ohne Ausnahme, exhib. cat. Fotomuseum Winterthur/Switzerland, Scalo, Zurich/ Berlin/ New York 1993, p. 144. ^
4 Cf. ibid. ^
5 Cf. Cornelia H. Butler Lewis Baltz. the politics of bacteria.docile bodies.ronde de nuit. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Ram Publications, Los Angeles 1988, p.52. ^
6 Cf. unpublished letter of the artist to the author, 23 June 2001. ^
7 Cf. Cornelia H. Butler, Lewis Baltz. The politics of bacteria.docile bodies.ronde de nuit, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Ram Publications, 1988, p.52. ^
8 Michel Foucault, Überwachen und Strafen. Die Geburt des Gefängnisses, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main, 1992 [Original edition: Surveiller et punir. La naissance de la prison. Edition Gallimard, Paris 1975]. ^
9 Cf. letter of the artist to the author, 23 June 2001. ^