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You Are Under surveillance
Di-Egy Fest 0.1 Conference 2013 CR13 International Research Conference In The Series Of Consciousness Reframed: Art And Consciousness In The Post- Biological Era
The influences of communication technology on the concept of privacy and it’s reflection on New Media-Art
By Sameh AL Tawil, independent Media Artist and art critic, specializing in Media art. He is a graduate of ADBK Munich, Germany, Master study in Media Art Histories in Donau university, in Krems, Austria
From the aroma of time and up till now, the issue of penetrating public privacy preoccupy human in general, and the governments in particular, having the desire to know what is going on in people’s minds and controlling on the ways of transferring information that belongs to them and to the others around them. In the presence of the desire to achieve the initiative, the governments encouraged the specialized companies to develop sound means of transport and a means for transferring pictures and videos in the real time. That leads to accelerating mechanisms excellence in transferring information technology in unprecedented way, and what follows from successive inventions such as : telephones, televisions, access to personal computers, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and GPS technologies, and other fixed and mobile means of personal communication which paved the way gradually for breaking through privacy, which allowed it’s tools and sources for the society as a piece of cake. So that a newspaper published an article in 1967 entitled
(1) George Orwell,the English writer,has clearly stated in his novel “1984” written in 1949 that the prominent sense of individualism which is controlled by a fear of a dystopian future from a totalitarian regime that is prohibiting and watching closely any act or manifestations of privacy, not only that but also controlling and manipulating the amount and type of information received through imposing a total restrain over both private and mass media,
(2) Florian Henckel,the director and the author,also expressed clearly in his German Oscar-winning film for 2007 “the lives of others” which is produced in 2006 where it’s events are set in EAST BERLIN in 1984, five years before the Glasnost and the fall of the Berlin Wall and before unifying German, under the rule of the so-called (GDR) Germany Democratic Republic where an agent of the secret police is assigned to conduct surveillance on a playwright and his mistress, ultimately paid to change his convictions and sympathizes with them after his indulgence in their intimate life.
Despite this, writers and authors could not expect that an era may come where people publish their private information by themselves, not only that but also organizing, dating, and supporting them with different applications and promoting them in an unprecedented way, all these by the encouragement of the available resources to them such as : the communicating devices, personal computers, and the available internet networks, and many ways for social networking sites which serving them with a digital archive containing billions of pictures, videos, and sounds that reveal everything co-ordinates on earth and under the midst of the ocean.
In this new context, public users of these technologies became the content producers and the writers of their biographies which are documented with pictures, videos, audios, and co-ordinates in the real time.
Publishing these up-dated data works on obstructing secrecy and changing the concept of privacy where the most accurate personal data is published to all the inhabitants of earth by the same person himself.
(3) Borrowing the term introduced by the psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, we can affirm that intimacy has turned into extimacy.
something secret or reserved, to be projected in every direction
by means of channels within reach of the entire planet.
extimacy manifests itself in a variety of ways, as much in the publication of the private as in the transgression of the distances which we normally establish in our personal relations, or the dramatization of our own egos.
Numerous Art works adopted the Extimacy concept and employed the modern technologies and applications to illustrate our new personalities under the name of “public figure” – as a metaphor –
One of the most important techniques is the Global Positioning System (GPS), which reveals the possibility of mapping the entire world from a privileged position of a satellite or from street level, has become reality through the applications Google Maps, Street View, Bing Maps, Foursquare, Etc… .
That a private company assumes for itself the right to save images of public spaces and retain copyright over them has provoked intense debate.
What about the privacy of passersby,landowners, real estate and the population of the planet in general?