Visibility is a TrapBook Concept
Visibility is a Trap is a critique of power structures and surveillance in America based on the writings of Michel Foucault.
Foucault wrote about the panopticon and how it is a very effective symbol of power and surveillance because it is a prison that can function whether the guard is present or not. In this design there is a guard at the center and the prisoners are surrounding him. The guard therefore has complete visibility but the prisoners can’t see the guard, so they must always assume they are being watched.
The book takes the idea of the Panopticon and applies it to other power structures in America. It is divided in four parts. One is Foucault’s essays on the panopticon and power. And the next three are the different forms the panopticon can take. One being an authority figure, which looks at the war on drugs, mass incarceration, and the school to prison pipeline. Another being an architectural form, which looks at hostile architecture and border walls as being a form of a surveillance. And lastly a digital form which is a new and unpredictable form.
Special thanks to Brad Bartlett, Matt Adams, Alex Seth, Yuma Naito, & Clint Disharoon.