Loving Big Brother: Surveillance Culture and Performance Space

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Taylor & Francis, Jan 30, 2004 - Art - 256 pages
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Constant scrutiny by surveillance cameras is usually seen as - at best - an invasion of privacy, and at worst an infringement of human rights. But in this radical new account of the uses of surveillance in art, performance and popular culture, John McGrath sets out a surprising alternative: a world where we have much to gain from the experience of being watched.
In Loving Big Brother the author tackles head on the overstated claims of the crime-prevention and anti-terrorism lobbies. But he also argues that we can and do desire and enjoy surveillance, and that, if we can understand why this is, we may transform the effect it has on our lives. This text looks at a wide range of performance and visual artists, at popular TV shows and movies, and at our day-to-day encounters with surveillance, rooting its arguments in an accessible reading of cultural theory. This iconoclastic book develops a notion of surveillance space - somewhere beyond the public and the private, somewhere we will all soon live. It's a place we're just beginning to understand.

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About the author (2004)

John McGrath works with Oxfam GB

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