Are You Still Watching? Monitoring the City

Teresa Dillon

Description Details

On 3 January 2016 the CCTV camera positioned at the intersection of Autoroute 40 and Boulevard des Sources, in the West Island of Montreal, Quebec, captured a stunning series of images of a Snowy Owl in flight. Four days later the images, tweeted by Quebec’s then Transport Minister, went viral, turning the Snowy Owl into an Internet star. Taking the image of the owl as a symbolic representation of seeing beyond the illusion, this inaugural lecture marks the appointment of artist and researcher Teresa Dillon as Professor of City Futures at the University of the West of England. Focusing on the images, approaches and techniques which artists have used to critique and subvert systems of urban monitoring, this lecture questions the continued normalisation of embedded environmental and surveillance technologies within our urban spaces. It looks also at the impact such infrastructures have on the mindsets and values we promote within our cities.

Image of owl credit Ministry of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Transport Electrification of the Quebec Government

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