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Here, technology constitutes a double-edged sword as it conveniently allows widespread surveillance and data collection as well as ease of access and increased availability of once-private information.
The artist intervenes in various situations herself, often covertly and even making use of spy cameras.
This has therefore created an ambiguous and ironic position for the artist, a dilemma as to what he can do with contemporary media that reach many more people than the art gallery.”(2) Now, almost 45 years later, Mc Shine’s prescient remarks are tinged with an increased urgency.
Thanks to rapid technological advances, art and media historian Jonathan Crary hypothesizes that we are now living in a ‘24/7’ environment, from which we can never truly be disconnected, and is the result of an ascendant “global infrastructure for continuous work and consumption.”(3) In this hyper-networked, always ‘on’ system, it becomes impossible to disengage—we willingly or unwillingly take part in a voyeuristic cycle where we are always either watching or being watched.
These works share a reliance on technology, which has become an integral factor in the way that we interact with others now; through various media we share our statuses, moods, and follow each other in an endless voyeuristic cycle.
Today, public access to what once was considered privileged information is a social reality, pointing to broader changes in the construction of our relationships and emphasizing the fact that—in our networked environment—virtually no information is private anymore.