2015 20.12 – 27.12 Institute of contemporary art, Moscow

Fluorescent lamps, metal, concrete
Dimensions: 130 x 35 x 35 cm
Production: 2015

A panopticon in literal translation means “a fully visible area.”

​Jeremy Bentham’s concept of the panopticon, a tower erected in the center of a prison to act as the observing point for inmates’ guards, was initially planned for public places security improvement. In the 18th century, that idea seemed to be absurd, so it was transformed for deprivation places finally.

Uncritical thinking of technologies resulted in the inversion of the panopticon method and transformed it from a tower with guards supposedly looking outside into intentionally installed signs of surveillance. The illusion of a night park has become apparent here: people feel protected while staying under a street lamp and not realizing that the light improves their vulnerability significantly: they can be observed from the outside, but see nothing themselves instead.

New watchtowers have transformed into distributed network structures, and irradiate light everywhere around us, but modernist monuments from concrete, metal, and glass are still trendy.