Call for papers – November 3-6, 2005, “Groundwork: Space and Place in American Culture”

panel: “The Arts of Surveillance, Surveillance and the Arts”

The arts of surveillance largely have negative connotations: these technologies challenge not only our notions of “space” and “place” but also of “identity.” Surveillance methods erode the ideology of individualism and replace it with the “micro-physics” of social control, along with promises of convenience and risk-free living. This panel will ask whether all such engineered spaces are inherently dystopic and also explore whether technologies of surveillance can offer new possibilities for expression and experimentation. Panel papers can be on any aspect of surveillance and culture, although papers focused on artistic examinations or uses of surveillance would be preferred. Papers might look at such topics as public art, consumer architecture, video installations, art focused on privacy issues, voyeur websites, pranks, the artists Komar and Melamed’s use of opinion survey results, reality television, invasive documentary forms, or the ways in which consumerism and marketing create new hybrids of surveillance and entertainment. The panel organizer’s paper will examine the work of Allen Funt, particularly his radio show “Candid Microphone” and his later television series “Candid Camera,” and show how Funt surfaced in the late 1940s as a curious amalgam of voyeur, entertainer, confidence man, social scientist, documentarian, and critic of the Cold War scene.

Please send short paper proposal and c.v. via email by January 10, 2005 to Fred Nadis: [email protected]