18:00 SAST

18:00  SAST

Surveillance Supersurfaces

An Exposure and Repositioning of Power of Surveillance in Space

Structured grid, ISO Section, possible spaces. Wall of Irony. van Niekerk,T. Unit 13. 2021.
Agents of Daily Surveillance. Abrams, G. Unit 18. 2021.

Gila Abrams

MArch 2021

Unit Leader: Naadira Patel
Unit Leader: Sarah de Villiers
Unit Assistant: Nothando Lunga

UNIT 18︎︎︎
Hyperreal Prototypes: Supersurfaces

Project Website
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“[W]ith Surveillance, the subject of the gaze is at a disadvantage and is often unaware of when [s]he is being watched, and thus the distribution of power is asymmetric”
- Mann and Ferenbok (2013:19)

Surveillance has become a regular part of contemporary daily life, from the camera filled streets to the smartphones we carry, our actions and movements are constantly monitored and recorded. We live in a world where it is no longer a question about whether you are being recorded or not, but rather how one might respond and react to surveillance. This project examines the power of surveillance and how one may be read or seen through its lens in the context of the hyper-surveilled city of Johannesburg, and unpacks how surveillance may be understood as a tool of power in architecture, and where screens become intermediary surfaces that adjust and sometimes vilify identities of particular bodies in our cities.

Taking on the landscape of surveillance in Johannesburg— its CCTV cameras and control rooms, the fortified gates and thresholds, security guards and neighbourhood-watch WhatsApp groups— as the protagonists within a somewhat arguable fictional and biased archive of events and agents within the city, the project questions this intermediary screen, its politics, and built-in political positioning - and aims to expose it. The work reacts and protests the way surveillance has controlled the way one moves in space, and how one is perceived through surveillance.

Surveillance, Invisibility, Surface, Screen, Ways of looking

Contact Gila Abrams:

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