Middlebury

MiddLab

My work in sculpture and installation aims to create a space in which the audience, who usually identify as the surveyed, takes on the role of the surveyor and the performer. My pop-up hijacking of institutional spaces and bureaucratic processes gradually degenerates as it reaches its structural and participatory limit.

Michel Foucault recognizes the exemplary prison model of the Panopticon and developed his theory on the ways in which the society generates docile bodies through discipline. The Panopticon is a powerful prison model, because, regardless of the obvious physical presence and the inmates’ consciousness of the purpose of the inspection tower, the presence/absence of the observer in the tower was made unknown through a venetian blind behind the windows of the tower. In isolation and under ceaseless inspection, the prisoners of the Panopticon learned to internalize the discipline and govern themselves. The Panopticon not only prevented the prisoners from wrong-doing but also took away their wish to commit wrong, making them unable and unwilling.

Foucault expanded the prison and the prisoners of the Panopticon to the society and all its members. The docile self-governing bodies, in combination with the extensive history and knowledge the society has accumulated on its members, allow the society as a machine to achieve maximum efficiency by placing individuals as compartments within its mechanics according to their individual characters.

Various record keeping devices that obsessively bureaucratize information-gathering methods have been developed and ingrained deep within the contemporary psyche. Anonymous scribes keep filling in the charts of self-conscious, docile individuals in constant cognitive dissonance in regards to privacy and autonomy, while from the knowledge of the individuals societal power is generated.

The Letterist International declared commitment to authentic life alternative to that designed for the capitalist society and believed that the capitalist trance could be disrupted through détournement. Strategic device that appropriates the expressions of modern capitalist society and turns them against the design, détournement was proposed as a tactic in individuals’ resistance against the machine to reclaim the authentic life.

 

 

People

James Butler, John Huddleston, Hedya Klein (Senior Studio Advisors) / Sanford Mirling (Academic Advisor) / Karen Rauppius 12′,  Tyler Madden 12.5′ (Collaborators)


 

 

Connections

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