timeless surveillance Posted by circular nozzle on March 14, 1998 at 16:57:05:
"the central inspection hall is the pivot of the system. without a central point of inspection, surveillance ceases to be guaranteed, continuous, and general; for it is impossible to have complete trust in the activity, zeal, and intelligence of the warder who immediately supervises the cells...
the architect must therefore bring all his attention to bear on this object, it is a question both of discipline and economy. the more accurate and easy the surveillance the less need will there be to seek in the strength of the building guarantees against attempted escape and communication between the inmates.
but surveillance will be perfect if from a central hall the director or head-warder sees, without moving and without being seen, not only the entrances of all the cells and even the inside of most of them when the unglazed door is open, but also the warders guarding the prisoners on every floor..."
- Ducatel, Instruction pour la construction de la maison d'arret, 1841
"and you think I can't see you. there you go, walking towards the fridge, thinking you have control over me, thinking you could just change the channel. but you can't. all you can do is replace me with somebody else flying on another magic carpet... AAAHAHA!!! the cars, the alka-seltzer are passing through me...just when I was about to tell you about something..."
- Les Levine, speaking to the viewer in his video-art piece "the magic carpet", 1976
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