Performance and participation in the panopticon: Instruments for civic engagement with urban surveillance technologies

Liesbet Van Zoonen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

While there is a plethora of surveillance technologies in public space, they are hard to see, as they are sometimes literally hidden, or they have become such a common part of everyday surroundings that they escape conscious observation. Through this invisibility the smart city and its surveillance technologies escape public awareness, critical reflection and democratic debate. In this chapter we discuss several ways of raising awareness about surveillance technologies. We show how artists and activists have engaged in cultural performance to bring surveillance in sight; we review a number of instruments of participatory action research that critical scholars have introduced. These performative and participatory instruments to expose surveillance technologies do have an immediate effect, however it is a temporal one and one would need additional efforts to move discussions away from individual responsibilities to collective ones and from individual awareness to political agenda-setting. This directs us, as participatory action researchers, towards examining how the few political conflicts around urban surveillance technologies have emerged and played out, and towards designing new interventions for political representatives and their constituencies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
Pages243-254
Number of pages12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2020

Publication series

SeriesAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
ISSN1613-5113

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.

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