Sandra Smirle

Omnipresent in my practice is the looming aura of geo-location and digital mapping technology — how it impacts the way we view our world and how we in turn are viewed by mechanisms designed to navigate our movements. More recently, I have begun exploring the specific role of digitally mediated surveillance in contemporary life and the extent to which new communication and surveillance technologies influence and regulate human behaviour.

I see us as having entered an era in which we generally fear for a loss of personal privacy (pervasive data surveillance), while at the same time accepting that loss in exchange for a conceived recognition of security (panoptic monitoring), even embracing a ‘viewer society’, wherein it is readily accepted that things once personal (intimate) are open to public viewing or screening (synoptic logic of the Internet). Increasingly public and participatory in nature, surveillance is now less a technology and more a way of seeing.

Using these multiple lenses (panoptic, synoptic and optic), I am attempting to explore the everydayness of surveillance and how it has infiltrated contemporary culture — how individuals consume it, feel protected by it and yet are also empowered by it.

The source imagery that forms the basis of my pieces is therefore evocative at one and the same time in both its familiarity and its sense of the unknown. It suggests a feeling of voyeurism, the information-enhanced view allowing for a reading, or a survey, of seeing and of being seen.

Exhibitions at Loop

2014 – String Theory

2012 – Turvy

2011 – Like/Unlike, and other circular decisions