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Experimental Film and Video Archive
  Experimental Film and Video
Friday, February 24, 7pm $2
Woodland Pattern Experimental Film/Video Series
Presented by the UWM Department of Film

Rebecca Baron's How Little We Know of our Neighbours

Another chapter from the history of surveillance:

In London today an average person venturing out on the street can expect to be photographed 300 times. Within the last four years, the number of surveillance cameras in England has quadrupled. There are more surveillance cameras there than in any other country in the world.

In How Little We Know of our Neighbours, Rebecca Baron considers the roles that cameras have played in public space, in England's in particular. She offers a history of the seemingly unstoppable Mass Observation Movement, an eccentric 1930's social science enterprise, born from a marriage of purpose between anthropologists and surrealists, who wanted to document traces of the unconscious in the everyday as a way to create an "anthropology of ourselves."

Baron suggests how benevolent survey and even casual street photography can morph into something more pervasive and stealth: the Mass Observation Movement was later reincarnated as a domestic spying unit during WWII, and eventually emerged as a market research film in the 1950's.

"Mass Observation's history," Baron writes, " is echoed in a range of present-day phenomena from police surveillance to web cams to reality television that point to ways in which our notions of privacy and self-definition have changed."

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