Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon, George Orwell’s 1984, Big Brother and Edward Snowden’s releasing of information from the National Security Agency; signal some of the sweeping transformations seen within surveillance practices this century. None have been more pervasive than social media which courts our desire to see and be seen.
Surveillance is omnipresent; we watch, follow, like and re-post habitually, we install cameras in our homes or in the children’s nursery, we own watches and phones with GPS tracking, and we send away our DNA in plastic tubes in order to find out the make-up of our generic heritage. We openly expose ourselves and surrender our personal information while becoming the voyeur to others. What we eat, how we spend, where we go and to whom we speak has never been so easily monitored and recorded in order to better target us.
The Outsider considers this complex web of surveiling, monitoring and watching through multi-media artworks that positions the viewer within a spectacle of ambivalence located between watching and the desire to be seen. The works explore the subjective experience of surveillance by oscillating between the internal processing of our desires and the external trappings of screen and visual culture.