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Photography and Surveillance


From: Thursday, November 05, 2020, 01:00pm

To: Thursday, November 05, 2020, 05:00pm

Photography and Surveillance


  • Thursday, November 5, 2020
  • 1:00 PM  5:00 PM

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The symposium will consider one of the most prevalent but unseen uses of the medium: the recording and documentation of civilian life around the world. From the time of photography’s origins, scholars and scientists celebrated the utopian potential of the camera’s all-seeing eye. Nearly 200 years later, these applications of lens-based technology—to document, surveil, record, and collect—shape the visual landscapes of public and private life. At each critical juncture in the medium’s technological development, photography has found pervasive, and at times, pernicious applications: as 19th-century detectives used mugshots to create archives of criminality, Facebook now applies facial recognition algorithms to build marketable consumer profiles. Meanwhile, the same satellite imagery that can document climate change and global conflict is also increasingly used to monitor civilian activity. Our symposium will present a range of interdisciplinary perspectives on this topic, bringing photo historians into conversation with academics in other fields and a visual artist. Each presentation will be approximately 20 minutes in length and the day will conclude with a panel discussion.


Center for Cultural Analysis

Art History Department, Rutgers University



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Events sponsored by the Center for Cultural Analysis are free and open to the public, unless specifically noted

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