Festival of Ideas: Panopticon


 The University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas 2014
Panopticon: are we losing our identity
in today’s Orwellian reality

“Excellent presentation opened up possibilities for narrative and non-narrative storytelling. The energy was palpable and the event creative and thought-provoking.”
Senior Course Leader Anglia Ruskin University

An interactive art installation presented by Anglia Ruskin University as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas. With live audio and visual performances the piece explored surveillance culture as the audience was being ‘watched’ and integrated into the installation.

The piece sought to explore how our identity and privacy are being eroded through the rise of the internet and social media networks. With now functioning face recognition apps, are we willingly adopting an Orwellian reality? Each performance was be unique as it included improvised “video jockeying” to music.

We enlisted student volunteers from the Cambridge School of Art to take part to help build the set, run the event, perform as VJs, and create films of the event. Our installation was one of the 15 official Anglia Ruskin University events held from October 20th to November 2nd 2014. We had over 20% of the total number of visitors to the university’s event which included lectures, art installations and a play.

Concept, Development, Creative Direction, Staging, Lighting, Set Build, Filming, Video Jockeying, Production, Brand Guardianship, Promotion, Research, Music, Post Production, Editing, Sound Design, Motion Graphic Design, Isadora Design and Programming.

Additional feedback:

  1. It was an incredible inventive piece of modern art filming.
  2. Mesmerising and imaginative. Beautiful images in perfect harmony with the music and vice versa.
  3. Visually and conceptually interesting, felt like I was being observed at times. Unsettling and thought-provoking.
  4. Excellent portrayal of social media, digital world. Strong contextual backbone…especially circular space.
  5. A different take on visual arts with live performance. A lovely way to get lost out of touch with reality’
  6. Such an inspiring, electric, 3D performance, loved it!
  7. Really good mix of interaction, passive observation. Live music, image mixing was stimulating without overpowering viewers. Overall a really cool atmosphere created.
  8. Great to see creativity on show with an edge.
  9. Provocative, thoughtful, poetic.
  10. Fantastic insight into the unconscious way we adapt out lives to technology.
  11. Excellent to see experimental artwork.
  12. Thanks, very thought-provoking and made me a little paranoid.
  13. A visually and musical feast, layers and layers of meaning fascinated with the theme or surveillance, much food for thought.
  14. Thought-provoking, if a little unsettling great interactive displays.
  15. I liked the interactive projection.
  16. It got me thinking of all the ways our identity is being continually scanned.