│Dietmar Kammerer is a research fellow at the Institute for Media Studies at the University of Marburg, Germany. He is the author of “Bilder der Überwachung” (Frankfurt/Main 2008) and editor of “Vom Publicum: Das Öffentliche in der Kunst” (Bielefeld 2012). He is a member of the international Surveillance Studies Network and has published numerous articles on surveillance, film aesthetics, film theory, and media
theory. His current research project focuses on the representation of media in film.

Metaphor. Scenario. Experience. Why We Have to Study the Images of Surveillance

As Canadian sociologist David Lyon points out: We know about surveillance because we have read about it in a novel or have seen a film depicting surveillance. Therefore, any systematic study of “surveillance” cannot neglect the various ways in which surveillance is represented in our literary or visual culture. However the question remains, what methodological instruments are appplied, what frames of reference are used in the analysis of “surveillance culture”. My presentation will introduce and discuss three key concpts in this debate: surveillance culture as metaphor, as scenario and as experience. I will then argue that the “surveillant imaginary” cannot be separated from the practices and operations of surveillance and will suggest ways in which to expand the field of research.