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panopticon australia

about panopticon australia

a site-specific privacy service for members of the public.

panopticon appropriates the use of umbrellas as a tactical privacy tool, allowing travellers the opportunity for a brief moment of privacy in a public space, to walk ‘freely’ under the constant gaze of security cameras. individual travellers are shrouded in a cocoon of umbrellas and navigated by the pvi privacy team on one of five devised routes in the cityscape. the resulting live actions are documented via video and sound and then installed as part of a sculptural installation.

the panopticon series travelled throughout australia and europe with members of the public shrouded in our privacy cocoon and navigated to a destination of their choice. journeys included catching a ferry, going to a bar, posting a letter, visiting an art gallery and buying a pair of shoes.

journeys were often painstakingly slow with activities that usually take 5 mins taking the team up to two hours to complete as they navigate traffic, uneven road surfaces, public transport systems and security officials.

click image to view the project gallery
click image to view the project gallery

devised by pvi collective. panopticon was initiated as an asialink project in partnership with the australian network for art and technology, in exchange with the taipei artists village, and supported by arts wa and the australia council.

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intervention and exhibtion history

panopticon: sydney – primavera exhibition curated by vivienne webb, museum of contemporary art, 2004
panopticon: perth – drift exhibition curated by bec dean, perth institute of contemporary arts, 2004
panopticon: brisbane – raw space galleries, curated by bree jackson, 2007
terra nullius, contemporary australian art, co curated by deborah kelly & frank motz, galerie weimar, germany, 2009, halle 14, leipzig, germany, 2009


panopticon: sydney – david goes to work.
anat filter magazine dec 04 – pvi collective.

getting away with it – pvi collective’s adventures on the dark side of technology, compromise is our business: responses to theatre, art, and politics blog, david williams, june 2007.

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