The Panopticon:

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Jeremy Bentham, a social-philosopher associated with the Utilitarians, described his Panopticon as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind” in such quantity that had no precedent. The Panopticon began, as a concept to allow a smaller number of managers to oversee the activities of a large and unskilled workforce. It is a circular building which has a tall observation tower in the centre, surrounded by empty space and an outer wall which is made up of cells. Each of these cells would hold an occupant who would be visible and distinguishable to an authoritative figure invisibly positioned in the tower. Not only would the official be invisible to the occupants but so would each occupant to the next through the division of cells by concrete walls, completely isolating and individualising them - thus creating more effective surveillance. The word “Panopticon” means to literally “observe all”, which is what the architectural structure conceptually allowed a singular figure to do. Bentham aimed for psychological control over the inmates within the Panopticon by inducing “a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power”. To be successful in this the inmate would be constantly aware of the possibility of being watched, through the visibility of the large central tower, however the inmate must never be certain of this, and must only be certain of the fact that there is never a moment that could not be observed. If successful, after a time the power would have become internalised and the transition from discipline to subjection would begin. Foucaultian Panopticism The Foucaultian Panopticism was originally formed from Bentham’s published intro... ... middle of paper ... ...eties of Control. New York: The MIT Press. 3 - 7. Elmer, G. (Uknown). Panopticon - Discipline - Control. Available: Last accessed March 2014. Bruguera, T. (Unknown). An Object for TH - "Disciplinated Trust". Available: Last accessed March 2014. Pohl, E. (2009). Slave City / Atelier Van Lieshout. Available: Last accessed March 2014. Manchester, E. (2006). Santiago Sierra160 cm Line Tattooed on 4 People El Gallo Arte Contemporáneo. Salamanca, Spain. December 2000. Available: Last accessed March 2014. Ibid Ibid
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