How Is Watching Done?

How Is Watching Done?

Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3847-0.ch004
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The process of surveillance has changed over time, as the object of surveillance—the narratives—have evolved. The primary mechanism of surveillance involved studying the analog body by watching the activities that the body performed. As such, the visual process, using cameras of different capabilities, has been a key way for watching. With the increasing digitization, the watching has relied on methods that capture the data about institutions and people.
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In the last chapter I pointed towards the different categories of watchers that make up the people and institution who are engaged in the process of watching. The initial categorization offers a point of departure, but more details would be added as I look at the different ways in which the watching is cone. To be sure the methods of watching have developed with time. The early days of the Panopticon and watching from the watch tower has certainly been improved upon. Similarly, eavesdropping on people talking in a café in the old East Germany, or intercepting personal correspondence in many totalitarian governments has now been improved upon. The technologies have certainly become more sophisticated than ever before, and the developments are unstoppable.

In this chapter I begin by examining the object of surveillance focusing on the body and its representation. I propose that there is simultaneously an analog object that is being watched along with the digital representation of the analog object. As such, the act of watching involves a tool that can watch the body – the camera and there is a tool that can watch the representation – systems to track data. This chapter elaborates on the camera and data watching to eventually set the stage for exploring the primary motivation for surveillance.

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