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What We Watch

An exhibition featuring Internet based art around themes of surveillance.

The proliferation of digital culture, online communities and networked technology has opened a landscape for artists to actively challenge and expand the parameters of art as we know it. Working with, and within, the vast communicative technologies of the World Wide Web, artists practising online create innovative and experimental works of art that critically engage with the cultural and social implications of our modern technological society.

We live in a time of constant immersion in digital technologies, information transmission and new forms of surveillance. Accompanying the rapid advancement of technology are complex surveillance networks that continue to subject us to new and increasingly unsettling modes of watching and being watched. From dataveillance to CCTV, political spying to clandestine looking, forms of surveillance covertly infiltrate our public and at times private lives. The global reach of art produced and distributed through Internet-related technologies makes it a timely and relevant art form to turn to when considering issues of social monitoring in the world today.

What We Watch is an exhibition that simultaneously showcases the multifaceted, dynamic, and highly participatory nature of art based online, and presents the various ways in which it engages with discourses of surveillance. Each work chosen for display critically responds to the mechanisms of surveillance. They explore its possibilities, its impact on our sense of self, and offer possible avenues of resistance. They examine concepts of self-surveillance, the pleasure that can be associated with mutually looking and being looked at, and consider the technologies of power that exist between states, corporations, and individuals. Above all, they heighten our awareness of what we watch, the eyes we use to watch, and the eyes that watch us.

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