Giselle Stanborough: Cinopticon

Fri 27th March, 2020 – Sat 26th September, 2020
Social media’s most intrusive and addictive qualities come to life in an ambitious new multimedia piece.

Feel like you’re being watched online? That’s because you are. Social media and wider internet voyeurism take on even more ominous dimensions in this immersive new performance-installation by Sydney artist Giselle Stanborough.

Cinopticon updates philosopher Michel Foucault’s idea of the “panopticon”, a space of surveillance and control, where the few watch many others. Now we’re all watching everyone, so to speak. Stanborough draws on our impulse for digital narcissism, as well as our urge to “perform” for strangers via platforms such as TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. Factor in the algorithms that drive social media and the invasive surveillance that comes with data mining, and Stanborough has a lot to work with.

She encourages us to look closely at user-generated media, using a combination of searchlights, sculptures, diagrams and digital surfaces to tease out the often subtle, multifaceted experiences we’re having online all the time, as well as mining her own personal online presence for the piece. Think Black Mirror, only deconstructed even further.

Cinopticon is one of three concurrent exhibitions of ambitious new works by women artists funded by The Katthy Cavaliere Fellowship, which awarded $100,000 per artist in the country’s richest one-off art prize for women. The other two exhibitions are Frances Barrett’s Meatus at ACCA and Sally Rees’s Crone at MONA were both due in April however closed early due to Covid-19 public regulations. Katthy Cavaliere (1972-2012) was an Italian-born Australian artist whose work explored the intersection of installation and performance art. The Fellowship honours Cavaliere’s legacy through its focus on women artists working in performance-installation practice.

The exhibition is free until September 26. More details.

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