The New Media Ballet is a new media remix of Ballet Mechanique. Using random loops found in popular programs like garageband and soundtrack, I created 'artwork' out of the interface itself. The resulting song created was abstract and incoherent, but the program interface itself was decorated with the words dada and art.
Historically, surveillance has been used as a tool to control large amounts of people. The more information one can gather about their subject the larger their advantage is. Even the Greeks and Romans used on-foot military scouts to learn more about the number of the enemy's troops or the weapons they would be using; they worked to secretly gather this information or risk death. Besides military intelligence, government institutions like prisons and hospitals used surveillance to control their subjects. The design of the Panopticon in 1791 by Jeremy Bentham was a major step in surveillance because it created the feeling amongst the subjects of a constant gaze or that they are always being watched. This constant sense of being watched has gone from specific institutions to general society since video and film cameras have become so practical and widely used. Since Trafalgar Square in 1960, when two temporary cameras were used to monitor crowds during the arrival of the Thai royal family, governments and large private companies have used video cameras to monitor crowds and places prone to criminal abuse. As time passed, people began to recognize the effectiveness and usefulness of video surveillance and cameras became cheaper and more practical. These two factors combined and large amounts of home-surveillance equipment and self-defensive technologies have ended up in the hands of middle-class and lower-class America. This has created a panoptic version of society. Not only does the average citizen have to worry about being taped in government buildings or large businesses, but also people have been recorded by cameras found in private homes, small shops, cars and even people's phones. In America and all over the world, people and government officials roam the streets with the knowledge that any person could photograph them at any time without them knowing it. So what does the future hold? The government has been using surveillance for years to prosecute criminals; Hasan Elahi has been using self-surveillance to ensure that he is never falsely accused again. Will other people follow this trend of self-surveillance? Will we live in a society where being recorded is not only something that happens occasionally, rather something that we ensure is happening constantly? Only time will tell. All of the exhibits in this collection are examples of technology enabling people to use surveillance for their own purpose.