Voyeurisme à Los Angeles, double page extraite de l’ouvrage Tom, 2013, Doug Rickard
LE BAL IS LAUNCHING PERFORMING BOOKS. THIS NEW BAL BOOKS INITIATIVE WILL PRESENT A COLLECTION EVERY JANUARY SELECTED BY AN ARTIST, RESEARCHER, OR BOOK LOVER ON A SPECIFIC THEME. LE BAL WILL TURN INTO A RESEARCH LABORATORY FOCUSED ON BOOKS’ ROLE AS A POLITICAL GESTURE AND A CRITICAL REFLECTION OF OUR SOCIETY. THE FIRST PERFORMING BOOKS EVENT IS DEDICATED TO SURVEILLANCE INDEX.
Compiled by the American Mark Ghuneim, this collection of over 200 photography books explores “our the golden age of surveillance” and its visible and invisible inner workings. An expert observer of technological innovation, aware of the challenges of protecting his private life very early on, Ghuneim investigates all the lawful and unlawful procedures the State has put in place to watch its citizens. In the early 1990s, he listed with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) all the CCTV cameras in the streets of New York and created an interactive map which takes you through the parts of Manhattan that aren’t under surveillance. In 2009, six years before the Snowden affair, Ghuneim began collecting books by artists and photographers about “those watching and being watched” men, machines, institutions, governments, spies, hackers, voyeurs and egotists. In LE BAL, over 200 books from his collection Surveillance Index will be available to the public.
THE ICONOGRAPHY OF SURVEILLANCE IS PART OF OUR DAILY LIVES AND HAS INSPIRED A MULTITUDE OF ARTWORKS — MARK GHUNEIM
In the spirit of a genuine whistle blower, Ghuneim is raising the alarm, using this collection and the plethora of visual material it represents as a wake-up call raising awareness and resistance. Which personal and collective civil liberties are we sacrificing at the altar of security? How do our personal, intimate, identifying desires create the tools to control us? Which political, social, cultural and legal incidents has this provoked? What behaviour can we adopt in order to disappear from the CCTV screens and meta-databases? To discuss these questions and stimulate public debate, LE BAL has invited sociologists, activists, artists, thinkers and journalists to participate in the programme.
Mark Ghuneim will open Performing Books by discussing the starting point and activist nature of his collection and his self-published 2017 book Surveillance Index which details the inventory of his findings.