panOptical


panOptical at Uncloud Festival 2020 – Pieter Baan Centrum, Utrecht


panOptical is an installation that explores Foucault’s theory of panopticism. This theory describes the behavioral discipline and structure that results from the conviction that one is constantly surveilled by authorities, but also by fellow subjects of these authorities. With this installation, the visitor is forced to experience and reflect on the omnipresence of (mass-)surveillance techniques, how these are introduced into our daily lives and how fragile these systems are.


panOptical at Uncloud Festival 2020


panOptical debuted at the Uncloud Festival UNshaping exhibition of 2020, located at the former Pieter Baan Centrum in Utrecht, a psychiatric research facility and prison.
The installation was the result of a residency at Uncloud Festival where I had several weeks to experiment, try new things and develop an end product to be satisfied with. Very important parts of the installation were the already present CCTV system, videoswitchers and other video infrastructure at the Pieter Baan Centrum. The videogear I brought myself were mainly used for the generative and mixing part, and ofcourse the CRT tv towers and walls.


Video impression of panOptical at Uncloud Festival 2020:


A second iteration was exhibited at the HKU Graduation Festival of 2020 and the FOMA Exhibition, also during the summer of 2020.
For the Graduation Festival there were a lot of CCTV cameras installed in the exhibition space, so the monitored subjects had no chance to comprehend the different angles they were filmed at. All the other displayed videos were generated live by using algorithmically controlled videomixers an matrices. All available monitors were used in this installation, resulting in different videowalls and a videotower.


panOptical combined with other works at HKU Graduation Festival 2020


At FOMA all the available CCTV cameras in the former bookshop/library were used, sometimes capturing the things happening outside on the street. For FOMA some pre-recorded videos were displayed by an array of Raspberry Pi videoloopers. This made the installation much more compact compared to when everything is generated live.


panOptical at Ars Electronica 2020


A third iteration was exhibited at Ars Electronica 2020 and GOGBOT 2020. For this iteration I collaborated with Ward Slager. He wrote a python script that runs on multiple Raspberry Pi’s, turning them into fully automated IP camera hackers. This means that the installation is livestreaming images of unsecured IP cameras on the world wide web. In some cases these are familiar images like the webcams some hotels point at a beach or a panoramic view, but in other cases we can get a glimpse of an office, garden or even a living room.


panOptical at GOGBOT festival 2020