Ken Goldberg: UCLA Art|Sci center Free Flow lecture

Too Close for Comfort: Free Speech, Privacy, and the Demonstrate Project

January 11, 2006, 6:00 pm   » 

Video from this event

Too Close for Comfort:
Free Speech, Privacy, and the Demonstrate Project

Ken Goldberg
UC Berkeley

Like oxygen, privacy is an odorless, colorless substance usually taken for
granted. It is deeply rooted in both the personal and the social, evoking
a range of human responses. Political and technical developments have
have altered privacy's ecosystem of expectations, laws and behaviors. To
expand the dialogue on visual privacy, we set out to demonstrate -- to
make visible -- concrete examples of privacy in practice.

Commissioned by the Whitney Museum, we installed a state-of-the-art
robotic webcamera over UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza, birthplace of the Free
Speech Movement. For six weeks, the camera was made accessible to anyone
on the Internet. Online participants shared remote control of the robot
camera, allowing them to zoom in to frame and photograph activity on the
Plaza at any time of day or night. During the six-week course of the
installation, over 1100 images were taken, putting public activity in
Sproul Plaza under scrutiny and placing online participants in the
position of hidden observers. The installation provoked a range of
reactions. I'll describe what was observed, the controversies, and
illustrate with images taken by users.
Ken Goldberg is an artist and professor of engineering at UC
Berkeley. His work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Walker
Art Center, Ars Electronica (Linz Austria), ZKM (Karlsruhe), Pompidou
Center (Paris), ICC Biennale (Tokyo), Kwangju Biennale (Seoul),
Artists Space, The Kitchen, and the Whitney Biennial. He has also
held visiting positions at MIT Media Lab, Art Center College of
Design, and the San Francisco Art Institute.

More info

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