"Panopticism" [Surveillance] & 1984

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Garrett Cornish Garrett Cornish 3 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #801
    Profile photo of Dr. M
    Dr. M
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    Both Man With a Movie Camera & 1984 are films that are arguably about seeing and/or being seen. What similarities and/or differences do you see between what each movie says about seeing and each directors MOTIVE in presenting these ideas about seeing & being seen?

    Are there elements of “Panopticism” in current American society or other societies? Are there institutions or places that operate like a “panopticon” based on how or the degree to which they surveil people? What does being watched have to do with seeing or watching? What is Foucault (and 1984) suggesting about the nature of seeing yourself being seen…or being unable to see that you are being seen/watched by others?

    Are there any technologies (technologies of seeing, visual technologies, optical devices, etc.) in 1984 that are similar to visual technologies of contemporary society & culture? What do any parallel visual devices or visual technologies in an arguably “free” society and a totalitarian society suggest about the manipulability of visual technology? Especially that which involves mechanical reproduction?

    What examples of mechanical reproduction do you see operating in 1984 and how do they operate? Does the film offer an example of the possible consequences of mechanical reproduction? Does it offer any remedies?

    What parallels, if any, can you find between 1984 “Plato’s
    Allegory of the Cave” and 1984? Is the film perhaps a reenactment of the allegory? If so what new complications or insights does it add to Plato’s allegory?

    Lastly: keep in mind the quotation from Aristotle’s “Sense and the Sensibles,” that seeing is the “superior sense,” but “…it is hearing that contributes most to the growth of intelligence” when thinking about not just how visions/seeing is managed/manipulated in 1984, but also how sound is used as well…..

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Profile photo of Dr. M Dr. M.
  • #835
    Profile photo of Joachim Chielens
    Joachim Chielens
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    In man with a Movie Camera, we see that a camera has the option to see anywhere, anytime and anybody. In this film, it is used to show the ability of a camera. In 1984, a camera is used for control. The former shows us what we all can do with a camera, the latter, shows us how a camera can be abused.
    In our modern society, electronic monitoring has become so common. There are traffic cameras, surveillance cameras, phones with cameras. All the hardware is in place to create a monitoring system. The only thing that lacks is an entity to operate it. If that is not already being the case. When we are aware that we are being watched, our behavior changes. However, people tend to forget, or stop caring very quickly that they are being watched. When this happens, people revert back to the way they originally would behave. That is such a smart thing to do. Surveil people, but make it socially acceptable.
    In 1984, we could see that every house has a TV-screen. Today this is almost an exception, who has only one TV in the house?
    If everything what we see is controlled by “Big Brother,” or in the cave by the people who walk behind the fire.
    I wonder if we as a society are more or less ok with the fact that we are constantly being monitored, because we as humans are voyeuristic of nature. We allow other people to watch us because we like to watch other people.

  • #1300
    Profile photo of Garrett Cornish
    Garrett Cornish
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    Comparing 1984 to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, there are many comparisons. The propaganda shown to the people in 1984 relates to the shadows projected by the fire onto the cave wall in Plato’s Cave. They are the same in that the images they are shown become the reality that they know, but in 1984 it is a little different. The two main characters in 1984 recognize that the images they are being shown are false then they are forced into believing the images they were shown. In Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, the shadows that the prisoners are the only reality they have ever known and they did not question it or know that there was a greater reality outside of the cave. 1984 adds complexity to Plato’s Allegory of the Cave by showing that people can be forced into believing things that they previously knew were false. Could it be that they are faking that they believe the propaganda or is it that the trauma that was experienced through the force made them believe the propaganda? Either way, there is some belief or full belief in false information that does not represent true reality.

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