Today we live in society of surveillance. Many CCTVs in society are a very familiar scene of contemporary cities. The reason why the theme of surveillance is interesting for us is that it is the best example showing us the ambivalent position of the video between art and technic. The purpose of this article is to make clear the relation of these two different practices of video: CCTV as a technical usage of the video and video art as an aesthetic appropriation of the video. First of all, we examine surveillance as a principal technology of modern power of politics. Studying the society of discipline of Foucault and the society of control of Deleuze, we pursue the development and change of the technology of surveillant power from panopticon to CCTV. What is then the strategy of a video art opposed to the incorporeal power of CCTV? Even though it uses the same technical mechanism of CCTV, video art suspends the flux of this mechanism for creating a space of critical thinking. In this context, we analyze the video works of Joan Jonas, Peter Campus, Dan Graham, and Bruce Nauman. Finally, with regard to the interpretation of their works, we point out the insufficiency of the model of active and participative spectator, and propose the model of suspension and thinking for arguing that the video art is a moment to make CCTV recover its consciousness of self.


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pp. 181-203
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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