Dystopian scenarios of urban environment ridden with mechanical eyes have filled the imagination of the last generation of scholars, activists, and artists. In the past decades, however, there has been an increasing call for re-thinking the extent to which western modern societies are effectively under the threat of overarching and ubiquitous technologies of surveillance.
On the other hand, the revolution in portable technologies and their ability in quickly communicating or sharing visual outcomes have open spaces of accountability for power never imagined before. Some have suggested that the 'panopticon' is now happening from below and it is a highly democratic adventure.
The panel suggests to contribute to such critical understanding, calling scholarly, hackivist, and artistic contributions to help unpacking the scopic regime of sous-surveillance. How do watchers, or the interplay between watchers and watched, contribute to the making of urban space? How can social networking, ubiquitous visual technology, and activist intervention help to make security apparatus visible? To what extent can we talk of the 'social panopticon'? Would this new dimension of sousvelliance enhance accountability for power?
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