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27 July 2020
16:00 (GMT + 0)
Sophie Hu: Not Only A Metaphor
Video Presentation.

"Not Only A Metaphor" is a 9 minute video installation composed of found surveillance camera footage, and operates as an exploration of ideas of virtual identity and privacy, taking into consideration Foucault's concept of the Panopticon. By using surveillance footage found online, the piece raises questions about privacy and the very security such systems purport to provide. It exists within part of a wider discussion about how our online identities are shaped and moulded by technology and our access to it, and questions what privacy really means in an age when all access is available with the right knowledge.

We are living in a strange time when most of us also have an identity in a parallel world, the digital world. Even without being written in black and white, we all agree on how it operates, what the rules are, and how we cooperate with each other, simply by participating. My generation, the 90's, entered the digital age when we were still teenagers, and have adopted this way of living so far. Things are designed to be easy to use, and packaged with a sugar coating: connecting, sharing, engaging, marketing... but many angles of this wonderful world were not developed together, and so leave space for other functions to become apparent: for example, the possibility of it being a modernized panopticon, and a tool for invisible totalitarianism.

My question and the centre of this practice appears: as the awareness of freedom and liberty rises more and more after two world wars, has this solid form of surveillance vanished for good? The uncomfortable feeling you get when you watch this film is not down to my poor editing skills and the thrilling soundtrack. It is an actual, existing issue - and it is already all around us. This film is "Not Only A Metaphor" - it is more real than any directed, curated film, holding a mirror up to the countless eyes which look down at us every day.

School of Arts & Humanities
Photography (MA)
Estimated Duration: 15 min

Sophie Hu

Photography (MA)
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