25 August 2010

Big Brother

'Ultimate' big brother is upon us, but in two and half weeks time it will mark the end of the big brother phenomenon 'forever' (or at least a couple years).In the era since the first big brother, the wider meaning of the term has been firmly established tself in society- in or daily lives. I read recently that we have become the most surveyed society in Europe. We have achieved a level of snooping, cctv, trageting, almost unimaginable at one time. we have become targets by banks, the government, police, anyone trying to flog us or con us some way on the internet. Its almost impossible to do anything without being tracked - being caught on one of 300 images captured a day of us or any transaction made, creating a file, a file which now defines our identities anddetermines our worth...bad credit rating Tom or porn downloader Maggie.

You have to excuse my rambling, but this is just a subject i have been thinking a lot about lately - especially after watching Ondi Timoners - We live in Public. With the ever popular increase in facebook and twitter accounts (not that i have a twitter) everyone is now a reporter or a broadcaster, and we are all a lot more aware of what other people are doing (because i love knowing emma is 'totally smashed in oceana').

The main point im getting to is that the surveyed have now become the surveyors. Ten years (or so) of watching in on these human Ginue pigs in Big brother (and any other reality show) has given us the taste to pry in each others lives.

The lines between public/ private have become so blurred - how much of me is out there for the world to see!?

22 August 2010


Top Shizuka Yokomizo - Stranger No. 2 1999
Middle Lee Friedlander - New York City, 1966

"The UK is now one of the most surveyed countries in the world, with images relayed on camera phones, youTube or reality TV. We have an obsession with voyeurism, privacy laws, freedm of media and surrveillance. Exposed confronts these issues and their implications head-on"

I visited the Exposed - Voyeurism, surveillance & the Camera exhibition at the Tate Modern this week. As part of my SI proposals for next year i wanted to explore the idea of privacy in todays society. The exhibition showcased images, some iconic from the late 19th century to now.

One of the most influential pieces from the exhibit was Shizuka Yokomizo's series Stranger, which examines the relationship between the self and the other.

Yokomizo sends her subjects an anonymous letter proposing they stand in the front window of their home at a specified date and time, at which point the artist arrives outside, sets up her tripod and camera, exposes her film, and then leaves. The subjects are instructed to turn on all their lights, wear their usual clothing, and remain still—or if they choose not to participate, to signal this by drawing their curtains.