“A third pole of opposition is between individual/social paranoia – is the paranoia that of an idiosyncratic individual or that of a group, neighbourhood, nation or transnational organisation? “(Harper 2008 p11) Even so why do we feel socially paranoid? Could social paranoia be caused by surveillance? One could argue that we are unaware of our surveillance. Additionally, there are rhetorical strategies that suggest a social strategy of paranoia. An ex-Prime minister for UK armed forces made allegations of M15.
The conservative MP Steven Hastings called him “positively paranoiac” (Harper 2008 p15) however, Steven Hastings is introducing us with the idea of paranoia making us think about the idea of feeling insecure. The media in magazines and TV potentially informs an indirect form of surveillance. “A media culture has emerged in which images, sounds, and spectacles help produce the fabric of everyday life” (Kellner 1995 p1) in other words surveillance could be seen to advertise and seduce us as well as manipulate us in a certain way. “The highly seductive foreground of our attention and activity” (Kellner 1995 p3).
Above all it is said to be seductive and lures us in without us knowing. As a result may make us paranoid. There is a US government programme called PRISM which collects information from the internet. “It is a previously unknown programme run in the United States by the National Security Agency (NSA) to access data held by the world’s major internet companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo and Skype” (Morris 2013 p1). Amongst this internet traffic there are many so called IP CCTV cameras the data sent by these. Cameras travel across the internet.
Due to the nature of the data collection that PRISM uses the US government this has the potential to access the video recorded by these IP CCTV cameras. In turn this increases the potential for privacy to be invaded. “By system, the IP-based video surveillance market is expected to grow rapidly at a CAGR of 24. 2% “(SSI Staff 2014 p1). Privacy gives us the opportunity to become individuals. People learn to adjust their personalities to suite society however when in private can develop their own identity’s further. Although “Privacy is mostly an illusion.
A useful illusion, no question about it, one that allows us to live without being paralyzed by self-consciousness. “(Von Drehle 2013 p1) Without privacy it could be said that we would be “paralysed by self-consciousness” (Von Drehle 2013 p1). It is said that “245 million video surveillance cameras installed globally in 2014”. Some of which are connected to IP cameras which are by nature connected to the internet, PRISM collects internet traffic therefore the PRISM program that is operated by IP cameras are collected through Prism is estimated the market size of $15. 9 billion the prism program collects information on CCTV footage, your social media this evidence was found on the BBC.
IT might be concluded from this that PRISM collects our private information, without privacy we may feel paranoid. The panopticism has developed from a philosopher called Michel Foucault, you could say that prism is a theory or factual there’s no evidence to suggest otherwise. Incidentally, prism, the panopticism and the theory from my film piece could demonstrate a “Text of fear” (Harper 2008 P5) which was explained earlier could be an example of what the theories try to do.
The panopticism addresses us with the issues of being subjected to surveillance. The ponopticism would have “full lighting and the eye of a supervisor to capture better in the darkness, which is ultimately protected” (Foucault 1977 p64) which notably brings us the idea that in relation to society we are being watched by surveillance. We have this idea of this all for Seeing Eye which can capture in darkness and in light all of our movements. “The visibility is the trap” (Foucault 1977 p64) in which we are the spectators.
Hence we are conditioned to follow rules and to stick to them. Therefore, there is an idea that we are “in the inmate state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power” (Foucault 1977 p65) to conclude society can be seen as the ones below and the government on top. There is an idea that they are the ones that have power. Furthermore they may be seen to feed us with information and rules within our country. The panopticism is like a metaphor for the functioning of our population. The film attempts to re-literate the theory based on YouTube.
Is this based on facts or theories? Because prism and the panopticism adopt the same conception. Even though the theory from YouTube exaggerates the idea that there is this all-for Seeing Eye created by god, could be seen as a possibility that we created this god to enhance the idea of power within the human race. Somehow again this gives us paranoia not to do wrong in our lives and follow the seven sins and to not sin otherwise we are punished in our death. “Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear” littlejohn 2013 p1).
This is a claim that those that complain about their privacy being violated are those who create crime, therefore we are claimed to only be paranoid when we have something to hide. There’s a piece by Louise bourgeois cell (you better grow up) which acts to incarcerate “the piece is a cell, a seven-by-sevenby-seven-foot cube. (Morris 2007 p231)” This cube is a jail that is seen giving the eye of other people at advantage. “The mirrors superimpose on one another. The mirrors reflect the different realities, multiple view on the world” (Morris 2007 p231).
This gives the person imprisoned a reflection on their self as well as the world around them. It forces them with reality and their self in solitude. In terms of surveillance the ponopticism suggests we are almost forced to look at ourselves because we instantly know we are being watched. “It is humiliating to be a toy in the hands of the fear that grips you tightly”( Morris 2007 p223), in the situation of surveillance and the fact that we have this underlying fear that we could be watched unnecessary is humiliating for ourselves.
Louise bourgeois Cell (you better grow up), 1993, steel glass, marble, ceramic, and wood, 210. x 212 x 82cm Susan hiller addresses the dream machines which I think has an interesting way of showing trance like artworks. I am reminded of the panopticism when I look at the artwork by Brion Gyson and lan Somerville because of its cylindrical shaped structure which reflects lighting at all positions. For me the shape and the fact that it refracts light makes me think of something touching and interfering with the spaces around it. It’s almost like something that surveillances the area like when helicopters try to capture suspects. Their lighting would be shining down on them.
For me it’s more the representation that reminds me of this link towards the panopticon. The piece is a tower with these open windows its structure reflects the same composition. Dream machine, Brion Gyson &lan Sommerville, 1960, 440 x 611, 176 KB, England Which brings up again the idea of the panopticon again and how it works, “the panopticon was also a laboratory it could be used as a machine to carry out experiments” (Foucault 1977 p66). In relation to us and our governance we are the lab rats we are controlled however, we know that which mentally frustrates us.
We know that we have no control over how society is shaped which makes us fearful. It can also be seen as pervasive in the way that people use surveillance is used as a tool to jeopardize certain situations. Moreover there were artworks created in institutionalised places for mental health where they were confined and kept under control by the government. They were watched and observed at every moment. They were “Artworks or artefacts that came from what seemed to be ‘outside’ the established positions of official culture” (Maclagan 2008 p1).
An interesting point is that they were kept out of society however, there still being watched by some sort of social surveillance by nurses etc. “outsiders have a penchant for recycling what has been discarded- and in content-often and-unsettling combination of crude and innocent”( Maclagan 2009 p15). The work that I have looked at looks bizarrely beautiful and has its own uniqueness about it. Their artwork seem to have references to our society. It’s almost like they capture experiences of the outside world however, are contained to watch and create.
There encased in a prison (asylum) where they have no control almost like the panopticism. In conclusion my argument informs whether or not it makes us feel a certain way. From my evidence I feel that it contributes to our anxieties. And consequently puts pressure on us to abide “It may form another point of resistance to the growth of surveillance and may be understandable given one’s experiences – indeed, within the arena of mental health” (Harper 2008 P24).
We do have to ask ourselves these questions are we being shaped and is this affecting our mental ealth?. “It may result from the effects of marginalisation but can also be adopted by the powerful; it may provide a quirky view of life but can also be distressing and isolating; and it may signal a heightened awareness of what is really going on in the world” (Harper 2008, P24) We are in a society that is growing immensely in population and in technology which may grow in terms of surveillance in the future. This won’t be necessarily be helpful to our future. The more we push these rules the more testing we are of our mental health in the future.