Welcome to the Panopticon. Originally a concept created by a philosopher, Jeremy Bentham, in 1785 the Panopticon is a prison where every corner of the designated space is covered by a camera so prisoners feel that they are being watched all of the time and thus are more likely to behave. In the UK the principal was used to build Milbank Prison on the bank of the Thames where now sits Tate Britain – a building whose function is to provide a space for us to look at reflections of ourselves, an art gallery.
The pleasing synergy of the first UK panopticon becoming an artopticon merits further examination as we become more obsessed with the voyeuristic tendency to watch each other as a form of entertainment and march headlong into turning every inch of this benighted isle into a prison. Continue reading Redefining Privacy in the Panopticon