Thesis Info

Thesis Title
What are the metaphoric and spatial implications of a paranoid technological gaze?
Martha Patricia Niño Mojica
2nd Author
3rd Author
MA Digital Art and Technology
Number of Pages
University of Plymouth, U.K.
Thesis Supervisor
Mike Phillips
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Media Arts
Languages Familiar to Author
English Spanish
URL where full thesis can be found
gaze, technology, metaphor, telematic, robot
Abstract: 200-500 words
The text will first give a definition of paranoia as an element that implies the victimisation of the innocent; paranoia is based on the rejection and denial of vital parts of the self and the construction of an invisible enemy. In this way, it is a powerful element of society that is worth revising. It also highlights the function of metaphor as the fracture of traditional meaning in a creative way. The first part contextualises some traditional technologies important for the changes in the paradigms of vision and how they imply a particular view of the concepts of distance and subjectivity that can take a paranoid twist in society. A society that is usually described as in a constant state of emergency. The discourse of traditional surveillance is displaced towards “dataveillance” and cyber perception since technology is used to serve as a mediator of our own image of self and others. The last chapter will concentrate on possibilities for the further development of technologies of vision and surveillance as a tension between the panoptic architecture and the tacit voyeur appliance object. The practical work of my thesis is an installation that is composed of a modified home/office appliance (a vacuum cleaner) that acts also as a robotized vision appliance. The object will display three different kinds of misbehavior: firstly it is paranoid, secondly it is intrusive (but denies it) and thirdly it is a redundant consumer. The object interacts with a totalitarian panoptic architecture that has a wireless video link and thus acts as an extension of its own video surveillance. The device questions the limit between the public and the private, between the collective ‘We’ and a selfish ‘I’. The thesis discusses the implications of a paranoid gaze posed by a third kind of paranoid “intelligent” objects that lets us reflect on the paradoxes of vision and therefore the construction of subjectivity and otherness; the tensions between the public and the private. Technology sets a distance that not only sets up doubts about things and their representations but it also creates a double movement: a pervasive gaze that generates a disappearance of the public sphere while generating an uncanny space that can be seen as a hybrid form of art installation. Such space still has creative and experimental possibilities.