Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Human Zoo

"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized."

George Orwell, 1984.

CCTV produces a whole field of the visual that isn't "made". The framework is wholly empty, noone is filming, anyone or noone might be watching, it just happens, reel after reel, as easy as breathing in an out, and you are caught.

Photo still of the surveillance camera players

Could CCTV just be a modern interpretation of the god-like presence? Western civilisation has largely all but dismantled every pure ideal of religion so is this new omnipresence the replacement? The all knowing, all seeing eye of the camera lens?

"Big Brother" as a T.V. show domesticates the idea of privacy invasion thus making the whole idea a cosy piece of popular entertainment that has been inbuilt in us to feel comfortable with.

If we as a society are not comfortable with our role the watching/watched are we paranoid? Is that idea more unacceptable? Are we then deemed as people with something to hide? But then what could be more paranoid than having cameras everywhere in the first place?

We are caught on a surveillance camera approximately 300 times per day.

In chaos there will always be an opportunity to enforce control but since when did feeling protected come from a world that is always exposed?