Pan: πᾶν, pan, “all”, “of everything”
Optic: sight, “seeing”
The Panopticon was a Prison and building system, invented by social theorist and philosopher, Jeremy Bentham in the 18th century. The essence of the building(s) surrounded the idea of monitoring behaviour of those under the impression of being watched; or the possibility of being watched. In relations to institutes such as prisons, it was a challenge to traditional takes on psychological control and behaviour…
“Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers. To achieve this, it is at once too much and too little that the prisoner should be constantly observed by an inspector: too little, for what matters is that he knows himself to be observed; too much, because he has no need in fact of being so….The Panopticon is a machine for dissociating the see/being seen dyad: in the peripheric ring, one is totally seen, without ever seeing; in the central tower, one sees everything without ever being seen.”
An excerpt from Panopticism, from Michel Foucalt’s Discipline & Punnish: The Birth of the Prison
“I made this animation film based on Piranesi’s Carceri d’Invenzione prints as a walk through these amazing spaces.
I used camera mapping (Projection Man) and camera animation with Maxon’s Cinema4D, building 6 different scenes that were merged together in a single continuous animation.
The film was made and produced by myself for Factum Arte (Madrid) who supported me in making this film and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini (Venezia) who provided scans of their own print collection, for an exhibition about Piranesi that took place in San Giorgio Maggiore, Venezia, in 2010/2011. The exhibition will be showing in Spain, Madrid and Barcelona, in 2012 before going to the US, and beyond.
A few days ago I found this exceptional book in the library. I was initially drawn to the cover and back image but after flicking through it, it threw out a some fantastic surprises. Written by a Fleet Street journalist during the hey day of Punk in Britain in 1978, Hennesy naively (and quiet honestly offensively) tries to compare the adornments of the punk style to tribal body modifications. These base comparisons are shown quite graphically side by side on most pages by having on one page a London punk being suitably insulting and on the other page a person from Africa, Asia or South America (i.e pretty much the entire world) wearing a vaguely similar nose ring or make-up, behaving in a very normal way. Although the book is beyond being dated, it’s layout is really rather attractive and the utter fear the journalist radiates out of the book in its comparisons reminds the reader of how terrified people really were of punk at the time. Other than the patronising content on behalf of both the punks and the people of the world exhibited in the book, it does have some great documentation of young punks which can be seen here.
…. as a concept, in human behaviour seems to be so closely married with beauty; and perceptions of beauty.
I recently began working with a very interesting & lovely woman.