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CTRL (Space): Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother

MIT Press

CTRL (Space): Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother Overview

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.

CTRL (Space): Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother Editorial Reviews

The Los Angeles Times

If the camera as Cyclops is one figure of surveillance, another is the eye of God. In fact, the first text in CTRL [SPACE] argues that this eye is the prototype of surveillance in the Christian West: an omniscient gaze that is also internalized as conscience in our everyday struggle between "good and evil." — Hal Foster

Library Journal

Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany, this timely catalog of the emerging genre of surveillance art is the first to compile critical essays discussing the history of surveillance, dating from Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon in 1787 to the present. The catalog includes many well-known Western artists and offers exposure to some who are lesser known. Curator and coeditor Levin has gathered a mixture of important original and previously published essays by some of the most respected postmodern theorists in this collection, among them Jean Baudrillard, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Victor Burgin, and Slavoj Zizek. The layout mirrors the sensibility of the exhibit but is distracting, with overlapping type that can actually make reading the book difficult. This mammoth catalog includes biographies of the artists and authors, 950 illustrations (350 in color), and an exhibition checklist. Recommended for academic libraries with contemporary art collections.-Krista Ivy, California State Univ., San Bernardino Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Readers' Reviews

CTRL (Space): Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother

Book Info

  • Book Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN-13: 9780262621656
  • ISBN-10: 0262621657
  • Edition: 1
  • Number of Pages: 655
  • Dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 1.50 (d)
  • Approx Price: $122.98
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