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Date of Award
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
School of Art, Design and Art History
Debord's "Society the Spectacle" and Delouze’s Deleuze's "Society of Control" both imagine a dystopian future for humanity in a world governed by excessive self-advertisement and mass surveillance. This thesis begins with the observation that, sadly, their two visions have become a reality. Current technologies log our movements through GPS satellite data, and photographs taken by closed-circuit security cameras, or by passers-by on a public street, are constantly cross-checked against databanks of previously-compiled biometric profiles. Every movement and transaction is digitized and recorded, accessible to ever-widening networks of information exchange and surveillance. These data-networks are altering the manner by which people navigate through public space. People’s “right to the city” (citation), as well as the right to solitude, discretion, and clandestineness, are being eroded and fundamentally transformed. My site is the Parc de la Villette competition — reimagined to address the struggles and questions of a 21st century society. I propose a landscape constituted from overlapping anti-surveillance programatic strategies - audio, boundary, visual, masking, density, and path. Each program acts through a gradient of intensity [eg - from voices amplified and sound dropped to different specific points to zones of complete silence]. The goal of these surveillance-interrupting programs, and the sometimes surveillance intensifying ones, is to activate a new front in the struggle for human dignity and liberty. This new parc-de-la-villette will reconstitute and defend the social and political necessity for ‘privacy’ in the 21st century urban datascape.
Swetnam, Rachel, "Surveilled" (2018). Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current. 631.