Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother
Edited by Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne and Peter Weibel
This book investigates the state of panoptic art at a time when issues of security and civil liberties are on many people's minds. Traditional imaging and tracking systems have given way to infinitely more powerful "dataveillance" technologies, as an evolving arsenal of surrogate eyes and ears in our society shifts its focus from military to domestic space. Taking as its point of departure an architectural drawing by Jeremy Bentham that became the model for an entire social regime, CTRL [SPACE] looks at the shifting relationships between design and power, imaging and oppression, from the eighteenth to the twenty-first centuries.
From the photographs taken with hidden cameras by Walker Evans and Paul Strand in the early twentieth century to the appropriation of military satellite technology by Marko Peljhan a hundred years later, the works of a wide range of artists have explored the dynamics of watching and being watched. The artists whose panoptical preoccupations are featured include, among others, Sophie Calle, Diller + Scofidio, Dan Graham, Pierre Huyghe, Michael Klier, Rem Koolhaas, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Thomas Ruff, Julia Scher, Andy Warhol, and Peter Weibel. This book, along with the exhibition it accompanies, is the first state-of-the-art survey of panopticism—in digital culture, architecture, television, video, cinema, painting, photography, conceptual art, installation work, robotics, and satellite imaging.
About the Editors
Thomas Y. Levin is Associate Professor of German at Princeton University where he teaches media and cultural theory. His most recent book CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother (MIT Press, 2002) is the catalogue of a major exhibition which he curated at the ZKM in Karlsruhe (Germany).
Ursula Frohne is Professor of Art and Art History at International University Bremen, Bremen, Germany.
Peter Weibel is Director of ZKM | Center for Art and Media Technology, Karlsruhe, and coeditor of other ZKM books, including Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy (MIT Press).
"CTRL [SPACE] is resonant reading... [a] weaving together of artistic projects and critical texts."
—Foster, Los Angeles Times Book Review
"The essays are superb, but as you might expect, it's the images that'll blow you away." —Angela Gunn, Time Out New York
"This timely catalog... is the first to compile critical essays discussing the history of surveillance."
—Krista Ivy, Library Journal
Source: MIT Press