We will be giving a talk — ‘Self-surveillance and Pervasive Data’ — at Scope Sessions #66, on June 8., in Panke, Berlin, alongside a talk by Raphaël de Courville. This talk will be based around some observations from the first year of Minute/Year and some related artistic strategies. Below is the short description.
We live in an era of pervasive data trails and generalised, automated surveillance. In one sense, an Orwellian vision of total control is becoming real, but perhaps not as we might have imagined. It has instead been partly realised as a strange outgrowth of consumer choice. Most recently, we can now choose to have a smart home device (such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home) as a modern convenience — a computer in a tube that lives in our homes and helps us, but that also listens to everything we do, forever. In this newly-emergent reality, what kind of artistic strategies might be worth pursuing? Is self-surveillance (sousveillance) a method of reacting to, or transforming, the habits and culture of this strange new era? We would like to tease out some of these ideas, in part by discussing some recent artistic projects which work with ideas of self-observation, repetition, instability in the role of participant and observer, indexing, and extended duration.