What an inspiring lecture for Critical and Contextual Studies with Tom and Dipti! This week we have been exploring power and surveillance in the city. We started by recording every form of surveillance that captures you on the journey to university, looking not only at security cameras but also items that record your movements such as oyster and bank cards.
Surveillance is not only a means of crime prevention it’s also a very effective way of controlling large groups of people without any physical intervention, the idea that “If you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear.”
London is supposedly the most watched city of Earth. “Based on David Davis’ estimate, which is still unrivalled, the figure of how many CCTV cameras there are in London stands at around one camera for every 14 people, adding up to a total of about 422,000” But is this an invasion of people privacy?
There is also a backlash to this form of surveillance, artists like Banksy use security cameras in artwork, exploring a satirical narrative of our CCTV culture. You cant help but think of Orwell’s classic novel ‘1984’ has Orwell’s nightmare of a dystopian future come true? Check out the Telegraph article on Banksy’s CCTV in Oxford Street, London from 2008.
Banksy’s work begs the question has Orwell’s fiction become our reality?