Resisting With Art: The Surveillance Art Against Surveillance

Resisting With Art: The Surveillance Art Against Surveillance

Nihal Kocabay-Sener (Istanbul Commerce University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4655-0.ch022
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Surveillance has become an element of everyday life. Modern society is used to surveillance. It has become inconspicuous. But art makes surveillance apparent. In this chapter, the notion of surveillance art was debated, and surveillance art was evaluated as activist art. In surveillance art, there are artworks created by singular artists or art groups. In this chapter, two groups were analyzed: Surveillance Camera Players and Manifesto for CCTV Filmmakers. The two art groups focused on CCTV. Surveillance Camera Players tried to take attention by playing in front of the CCTV in the public sphere. Surveillance Camera Players created awareness for surveillance cameras that normalized in everyday life. Manifesto for CCTV Filmmakers also invited to make a film via CCTV footage. The manifesto noticed to determine with the act. Consequently, surveillance art creates social awareness, and it is a way to resist surveillance.
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Surveillance And Aesthetics

In this title, first, surveillance and aesthetics concepts will be discussed than the aesthetics of surveillance concept as the intersection of surveillance and aesthetics will be debated.

Surveillance is defined as following in lexical meaning: “The act of carefully watching a person suspected of a crime or a place where a crime may be committed” (Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, n. d.). Namely, a person that under surveillance is evaluated as a person of interest or a suspect. This definition has assigned negative meaning for surveillance. According to Gary T Marx (2015), surveillance is neither good nor bad, but context and comportment do make it so (p. 733).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Surveillance: To follow directly or indirectly (via technology) something or somebody.

Surveillance Society: Modern societies where surveillance is normalized.

Surveillance Technologies: Monitoring technologies that enable the surveillance to continue and to keep individuals under control.

Activist Art: It is an art form in which political and social events are reflected and social awareness is aimed.

Surveillance Art: It is defined to use surveillance technologies in art. However, this notion tries to notice about surveillance, in other words, the notion of surveillance art is critical.

Aesthetics of Surveillance: It is to present surveillance in different fields as an aesthetic element from architecture to media.

CCTV: Technology that allows monitoring someone or somewhere via the camera.

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