Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English and University Honors
Experimental Film, Surveillance, Critical Theory, Race, Visual Politics
Along with shifts in how surveillance technologies work to control and capitalize on everyday life comes a need to understand and critique them. What past and present paranoid dystopian stories and other pop-culture parables seem to leave out is any thoughtful consideration of how surveillance racializes bodies and consolidates power in favor of racist hegemony, specifically in a post-9/11 context. We often fail to question in what ways popular discourse on surveillance and resistance to surveillance practices reinforce violence against--and consolidate control over--marginalized populations. Part of this almost willful negligence, I believe, is symptomatic of visibility’s status as a both taken-for-granted and also privileged site of knowledge and as a medium of objective truth and a vehicle for power. Three artists--Ja'Tovia Gary, Basma Alsharif, and Hito Steyerl--bring forth a fresh analysis congruous with our contemporary moment, in which surveillance has shifted from disciplining through visual strategies to combining visual, informational, and affective modes of control.
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Coffey, Taz, "Breaking the Feedback Loop: Experimental Filmmakers Confronting Everyday Surveillance Technologies" (2021). University Honors Theses. Paper 973.
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