Enclosed by Mirrors
Galata Greek Primary School
Becca R. Book, Miranda J. Shugars.
Display: Andres Jaque and the Office for Political Innovation
“The human animal spends a remarkable amount of time looking at itself and its artifacts. Enveloped in all the nets of its own making, the species constantly watches itself… Conventional media channels provide continuous self-surveillance by bringing real-time images from every corner of the globe. The internet offers multiple interfaces tracking the global movements of satellites, space junk, aircraft, ships, tweets, viruses, migration, and remittances… Individual movements, purchases and communications are continuously detected, recorded and analyzed throughout the day and night, as if in a massive collective selfie. The technology to simultaneously visualize the earth from outside and from inside is now in everybody’s hands… The ability to see so much more is equally the ability to be seen much more. The human looks at itself looking at itself. Self-monitoring is a huge part of human activity – and is inseparable from design.” –B+M
Enclosed by Mirrors is a multi-screen video installation organized in three clusters: Space, Earth, and Humans. Each of these clusters presents an array of live data feeds, real-time visualizations, and video streams that provide an ever-shifting self-image of humanity. This huge and detailed self-portrait is full of gaps, technical limits and multiple forms of censorship. It is paralleled by massive secretive surveillance systems with government, military and corporations carrying out relentless visual and electronic tracking. The ability to see so much more is equally the ability to be seen much more. The human looks at itself looking at itself. Self-monitoring is a huge part of human activity – and is inseparable from design. Enclosed by Mirrors is one of the six curatorial interventions developed by the Curatorial Team of the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial with a joint team of students from Columbia and Princeton Universities in 2016.