Monday, January 07, 2019

NOWHERE TO HIDE?

Nowhere to Hide: Memorial Oil on linen 30 x 30 cm 2018


21ST CENTURY SURVEILLANCE
Surveillance in the 21st century is pervasive, persistent and increasingly ubiquitous. Cameras, sensors, monitored devices, and the collection of various kinds of data contribute to modern day surveillance. Facial recognition, gait recognition, social media use, shopping habits, web browsing and much more feed data into the surveillance net. 

I am interested in how surveillance by cameras and sensors changes our perceptions of landscape. The focusing and orienting markings on camera lenses and computer screens create a digital overlay, one that represents new kind of topography. It is the topography of simulation and computation. Signals that connect devices and enable networked systems also create an overlay of the landscape, an invisible volumetric overlay that extends from Earth to satellites in space. Networked systems enable the persistence of contemporary surveillance.

There is nowhere to hide.

These new and largely discrete or invisible new landscape topographies act like nets or webs. This webnet captures us, holds us hostage...but, do we realise this? Has this insidious infiltration of life and landscape changed perceptions of landscape, environment? If not, will it? How conscious are we of any changes?

NOWHERE TO HIDE: MEMORIAL
In Nowhere to Hide: Memorial the crosses can represent a few things - cross-hair focusing/targeting on a camera or a gun lens, orienting graphics on a computer screen, the digital division of landscape into zones or maybe the digitised structural components of a simulated landscape. The crosses indicate a process of uniformity, a flattening of space and experience. Does this mean the real landscape, in all its wondrous diversity, becomes alien? Does it mean we feel there is nowhere to hide, to be private?

The crosses also act as a kind of memorial to the loss of freedom.

But, I like to think that, as a painting, this image acts subversively!

There is a lot more I can say, but I will leave you now to wonder....

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* I have previously written about the contemporary hostage situation HOSTAGE
You might be interested in OPERATIONAL LANDSCAPE  and PERSISTENT READINESS and EXPOSING THE INVISIBLE

Cheers,
Kathryn

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