City Panopticism – 城市全景敞视主义 Wang Xiaoyu 王晓宇, Wang Yutian 王雨田 Two hundred years ago, English philosopher Jeremy Bentham invented Panopticon as a spatial prototype for disciplinary criminals. The lighthouse in the center of the circle emits light from time to time in a 360-degree individual cell, making it impossible for prisoners to know if they are being monitored. In theory, this model efficiently reduces police force, the prisoner is constrained by self-discipline, and Foucault has named it as Panopticism. If the light from the lighthouse in the middle of the panopticon is invisible Eyes at that time, then two hundred years later, with the development of electronic surveillance systems in the city, the camera has become the invisible eyes of the present, effectively restraining crime. It also inevitably exposes people’s daily life and redefines the boundaries between public and private spheres. In this context, the device is envisioned as a city panopticon that intended to discuss how people’s perceptions of space is reshaped and explore how people interact with each other through the lens of camera and screens.
The concept of the device is designed to be hidden in a circular observation room in the public space of the city. Through the replacement of a series of electronic cameras and screens, people’s behaviors both inside and outside the device are recorded and displayed and mutually revealed to each other. When a person monitors the others, he or she can also be clearly seen how him/herself are being monitored by the others. The physical image of a person is deconstructed and reshaped by an electronic screen, namely the “eye”. The device is specifically designed as a circular wood structure with a radius of 4m and a height of 3.2m. The inner wall is composed of multiple electronic screens, the outer wall is made of hidden frame mirror-effect stainless steel, and there are 6 major apertures with special shapes and interactive functions that connects the inside and outside of the device.
In addition, the design concept is further developed to discuss the displacement of seeing and being seen relationship between the installation and the 9 sub-venue sites. We would like to install one screen and one camera on each sub-venue site and displace the LED screen display between installation site and the sub-venue site. What should be seeing from the installation LED screen is now displaying what’s happening on sub-venue site and vice versa. This reversion creates a continuously back and force relationship between the two screens. In this way, we connect all venues with one big observation room, meanwhile, it is fully exposed to the city. Through this reciprocatively interactive process, we would like to discuss a new perspective of connectivity by using digital apparatus.
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