Mobility and Surveillance

Mobility and Surveillance

Super Vision

Mobilidade e vigilância dos movimentos são temas chave para a discussão sobre mídias, localização e tecnologias e redes sem fio. Fuçando velhas Wired encontradas aqui na rua, vejo o projeto Super Vision, de 2006. Hoje, navegando no Rhizome caio em uma entrevista com a artista de NY, Marianne Weems, da Builder Association, produtora dos espetáculos multimídia “Super Vision” e “On Continuos City”(2007). O primeiro mostra as novas formas de monitoramento dos movimentos a partir de dados eletrônicos que deixamos no quotidiano. O segundo investiga a experiência de localização, lugar e o sentido dos fluxos nas grandes cidades. Um trailler do Super Vision pode ser visto aqui. O projeto Continuos City pode ser acessado (com fotos e vídeos) aqui.

Continuos City

Abaixo trechos da entrevista onde ela fala de localização, favelas e dos celulares em países em desenvolvimento:

“Could you please explain, in brief, the overall framework for Continuous City?

I think the overall frame of the show has to do with place and displacement and the blurring of locations that are brought on by contemporary travel, as well as this idea of the networked self — so that wherever you are, you’re also partially somewhere else. All of these stories revolve around that in many ways and the three main characters — the father, the businessman and the nanny — are all connected to different networks expressed in various avenues throughout the show.

How did you begin to cultivate the idea behind Continuous City?

Well, I always do an inordinate amount of research before it becomes a theatrical project, so I read Mike Davis’s book, Planet of Slums, and even though its kind of like purple prose, it’s very interesting as a study of megaslums and the idea of this ever expanding urban landscape — a new kind of city. And, of course, there’s a huge amount of writing about social anthropology and urban anthropology and urban space now, so that whole idea of the changing nature of a city was really fascinating for me — not as a theatrical idea obviously — but more as a sense of these hidden spaces that are slowly becoming visible. I also read a book called Shadow Cities by Robert Neuwirth. I’m very interested in his account of this invisible world that’s slowly becoming visible in the first world and, especially, his sense of how people living in these places re-purpose technology. Like in Rio, the fact that most people in the favellas have cable because they’ve just pirated it off of one cable line and then it runs all through the favella, so even if they don’t have running water, they all have cable. I started thinking about how specific kinds of technology are being implemented and marketed to the developing world. I’m particularly fascinated by how social networking translates to other cultures. Since Facebook and Myspace have become completely endemic here, there’s a whole new market for social networking sites in these other places, and they are faced with the task of replacing what are essentially real networks or other kinds of networks.

Do you think that’s related to the ubiquity of mobile phones in the developing world, because they’re cheap and they’re accessible?

Right, exactly. Many places in Africa have gone straight to cell phones and they’re never going to wire. It’s really interesting. When I first started working on Continuous City, what I wanted to do initially was to go to some of these classic “megaslums,” which I’m using in quotes because it has a slightly derogatory feeling to it, but that’s what a lot of urban scholars call them. I wanted to see if there was a way to engage those populations in a project. And, we sort of halfway ended up doing that. Obviously, it’s extremely complicated to do that and not be completely colonial because you really have to go and spend years in those communities in order to do something really meaningful for them.

I then began working with this filmmaker and writer Harry Sinclair. I wanted to do something with a little girl because I had this image of this very small girl in front of a huge mediascape and how that would be staged and what it would feel like. So, he came up with this story about a father who’s an urban anthropologist who travels around the world and communicates with his daughter who’s at home through videophone or whatever – some kind of futuristic mobile phone device. That essentially became the narrative for the story. We just got finished going around the world shooting Harry, who was the actor and the filmmaker, in Mexico, Shanghai, Toronto, Las Vegas and L.A., so, we’re going to continue shooting in all of these places and that’s part of the media used in the narrative of the show. That’s the other half of the dialogue. (…)”