Photography: Opticon – I

by Beauchamp Art

Opticon I, II, III

Opticon – I

Opticon - I - I

Opticon – I – I

Photograph of a computer screen displaying images of individuals walking, taken from atop the Norwich Roman Catholic Cathedral, looking down on the city and its inhabitants from its highest point. Watching, whether like a heavenly, lidless, unblinking eye, or the endless gaze of an Orwellian antagonistic; the surveillance of a CCTV operator, or a sight-seer surveying his landscape aloft a monument of man’s construction, or the self-constructed self-monitoring of public exposure, physically and digitally, where one may become tamed, like beasts before the swivelling uncertainty of Panopticon.

Opticon - I - XII

Opticon – I – XII

The pixelisation of the enlarged, re-photgraphed images dehumanises the figures into flat, abstract blocks, fragmented by image cells, and hardly recognisable as organic forms, any sense of life seeming like pareidolia, an assigned humanity rather than a true sense of anthropological existence. Nevertheless, in spite of their obscurity, the half out-of-focus delineated shapes are still somehow understandable as being people, given their context amongst the other images, and the sense of movement and the sustained approximation to life; despite their form, they can be read as distant figures.

Opticon - I - I

Opticon [Film]

The themes of this series are expanded upon further in the annotations for the Opticon Film