Surveillance and Urban Space in the Age of Digital Archives
06 Nov 2016
Anne Zeitz is a researcher and artist working with photography, video, and sound media. She has taught at University Paris 8 and is associate professor at University Rennes 2/France. Her doctoral thesis (University Paris 8/ Esthétique, Sciences et Technologies des Arts, 2014) is entitled (Counter-)observations, Relations of Observation and Surveillance in Contemporary Art, Literature and Cinema). Anne Zeitz collaborated with the Goethe-Institut Paris and the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg. She is a former member of the Observatoire des nouveaux médias (Paris 8/Ensad) and she is part of the research projects Média Médiums (University Paris 8, ENSAPC) and La fabrique des arts sonores (Université Paris 8, Centre Pompidou Metz). She was the artist of the year of the Urban Photo Fest in 2014 and she received a fellowship from the Institut national d’histoire de l’art and the Institut Français in collaboration with the HGB Leipzig in 2016.
This walk questions the ways artists reveal the massive recording and archiving of images and data in the age of “surveillance after Snowden” (David Lyon, 2015). The matter of surveillance has indeed never been as present in political discourse and the international press as much as since the divulgence of the American surveillance programs by Edward Snowden in the summer of 2013. Nonetheless, the mechanisms of surveillance and mass media and the convergence of their functioning had, for a long time, been reflected in contemporary art.
Contemporary forms of surveillance are based on processes of data-mining and profiling and on the emergence of data centres throughout the world. These processes and the “algorithmic memory” they constitute cannot only be grasped by visual means. During the walk we will focus on elements in the urban landscape that take part in the formation of this memory (from surveillance cameras to the data centres) and on artists that have concentrated on mechanisms of surveillance and the massive archiving of personal information in urban space since the 1960s. The objective of the walk is to grasp visible as well as invisible forms of surveillance in contemporary urban space and to reflect on possible ways of their artistic representation.
own camera, notebook, and pen.