Monday, March 24, 2008

The contradictory nature of cameras

I think it's intriguing how so many of the articles and websites we focused on this week showed the different sides of cameras. First, there's the camera as a tool of surveillance, like the panopticon and as someone else mentioned, the cameras in the Friedman Study Center. Then there are the cameras that people train on themselves, exhibitionists and even just normal people (who hasn't taken a photo of themselves and put it up on facebook?). What then does the camera do for us? The first is to instill the fear that we are being watched, that if we do something "wrong", it will be known and we will be punished. The second contradicts that. We want to be watched. We want people to know what we are doing. Where do we get this desire? Is it to show people who we "really are"? And how can these two contradictory notions still work together? How come we both fear and love the camera?

Human nature...obviously a very strange thing.

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