Ctrl [Space]

Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother

Cover of the publication »Ctrl [Space]«

Type of publication
Exhibition catalog
Author / Editor
Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne, and Peter Weibel (Eds.)
Publishing house, place
MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts

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 ever-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, representation and subjectivity, imaging and oppression from the eighteenth to 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. Andy Warhol, Bruce Nauman, Dan Graham, Rem Koolhaas, Michael Klier, Thomas Ruff, Pierre Huyghe, Sophie Calle, Julia Scher, Diller + Scofidio, Peter Weibel, and Yoko Ono are among the artists whose panoptical preoccupations are featured here. This is the first state-of-the-art survey of the full range of panopticism – in digital culture, architecture, video, painting, photography, conceptual art, cinema, installation work, television, robotics, and satellite imaging. 

Thomas Y. Levin is a cultural theorist who teaches media theory, intellectual 1 history, and philosophy at Princeton University. Ursula Frohne is Associate Professor at the International University in Bremen. Peter Weibel is Director of the ZKM in Karlsruhe.

655 p. : numerous ill.
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

LBBW Landesbank Baden-Württemberg


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