Watchtower

2015 20.12 – 27.12 Institute of contemporary art, Moscow

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

The panopticon in literal translation means a fully observable area.

Jeremy Bentham’s concept of panopticon, a tower erected in the center of a prison, which acts as the observing place for inmates’ guards, was planned for public places trying to improve theirs security originally. In the 18th century this idea seemed to be absurd, so it was easily transformed to places of freedom’s deprivation.

Confidence to technologies resulted in the panopticon inversion and transformed it from a tower with a guard looking outside possibly into a brightly denoted signs of surveillance, acting as security sign marked the surroundings. The illusion of a night park has become apparent here: humans feel themselves under the protection while staying under the street lamp and don’t realize that the light improves danger level for them greatly: they are viewed by everyone from the dark, but see less themselves.

A modern watchtower irradiates light without attempts to mask becoming a distributed network structure, but modernist monuments of concrete, metal and glass are still trendy.