In this hybrid studio/seminar course, we will investigate how and why artists have subverted traditional modes of surveillance for creative and critical discourse. Questions of modernism, postmodernism, surveillance, transparency, cyberspace, and changes in the built environment since the end of WWII will be investigated through close analyses of theoretical texts and media art. In the studio component of the class, techniques such as video tracking, audio monitoring, data tagging, and web camera checking will be demonstrated. Course requirements include weekly contributions to a reading response journal, facilitation of one group discussion, and a final research or multimedia project.
Readings include works by: Jeremy Bentham, Jonathan Crary, Michel Foucault, Bureau of Inverse Technology, Critical Art Ensemble and more. Screenings will include art works by Jim Campbell, Julia Scher, Steve Mann, Mona Hatoum, David Rokeby, Lutz Bacher, Camille Utterbeck, Knowbotic Research, PANOPTIC, Surveillance Camera Players, the NYC Surveillance Camera Project, and selected works at the MCA’s Version>03 festival (March 27-30, 2003). Three recent exhibitions that critically deal with issues of surveillance: ctrl[space] (ZKM, 2001), Anxious Omniscience: Surveillance and Contemporary Cultural Practice" (Princeton Univ. Art Musuem, 2002), and Open_Source_Art_Hack (New Museum of Contemporary Art, 2002) will collectively provide a starting point for our conversations.