Jun 4, 2013 10:42 AM
A recent article published by the Associated Press about New York City artist Arne Svenson talks about a controversy the exhibition has stirred with the occupants of the building across the street.
The photographic exhibition shows images taken from the artists second-floor apartment of some of the occupants. The residents of this glass-walled luxury building had no idea they were being photographed and they never consent to being the subjects for the works of art, feel a line has been crossed. The artist writes; "they are performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation with the curtain raised high".
The artist did not show the faces, so the subjects could be anyone. In one photo, a woman is on all fours, presumably picking something up, her posterior pressed against a glass window. Another photo shows a couple in bathrobes, their feet touching beneath a table. And there is one of a man, in jeans and a T-shirt, lying on his side as he takes a nap.
When you move into an all glass building, and don't close the window coverings, or even have them, what right to privacy do you have? If you believe no one will look in, think again. You have extended an invitation.
We are now in a society of living in public, all your private thoughts and actions are out there for anyone to see, and engage with. There are cameras on every corner, in public and private buildings, subways and buses, and toll booths. Digital technology, social media, and world wide internet access controls our day to day activities. We are constantly being monitored, photographed and watched.
If you want and expect privacy then close your drapes, throw away your cell phone, dump the internet, and move to an isolated location in the woods by yourself, and then only the wild animals can watch you. And what are they saying? Perhaps, "Dinner at the waters edge."