│Ines D. Gütt, graduated museologist and art historian, wrote her master thesis about Surveillance Art at Freie Universität Berlin in late 2014. In the months after that, she spoke about this particular kind of political art at re:publica and several science slams. These kinds of art works often focus on the risks and disadvantages surveillance means for individuals or the whole civil society – on uncontrolled intelligence agencies, psychological effects of the disappearance of privacy, etc.
Her second connection to surveillance is the handling of (big) data in her marketing job with a software company. Effective collection and use of company-related and personal data form the basis of modern marketing as well as software development in itself. Especially the kind of work, however, that feeds the data ocean – basis for surveillance and multiple layers of control. Gütt is interested in the everyday contradiction between these two poles.
Since Snowden, every media art event and many exhibition halls for contemporary art have shown “surveillance art“ at least once. Art, which focuses on the psychological impact of CCTV, the “shadow system“ behind our democracies, the media coverage of “war on terror“ or even the mechanisms of secrecy itself. This lecture will provide an introduction into this field of art by covering a small selection of works and will try to examine the potentials and limits of this kind of political art.