Paula Artés

2018 - 2019


What does the State know about us?

I Focus on the zero control space, where the process of controlling our data begins. Where they register us at birth, where they document us as individual identities, where they register our pathologies, etc. Spaces which begin to stop having the function of receiving information to become online administrative processing. The information that we place, separately, in these spaces, have the same destination: the State. The administrative structures of the State have the function of a panoptic on citizenship.

With this project I search for rethinking space as a way to exercise power.

The State uses recognizable mechanisms with clear intentions to exercise control over the population. This is to avoid a revolution and to organize the society. We owe to Michel Foucault the idea that the power is not only located in the State apparatus such as the Congress. It is also located among other parallel mechanisms such as administrative structures or public spaces from where the power is exercised.

According to Foucault, the administrative structures created by the State work as a panoptic for the citizens. Foucault and Farocki somehow claim that we have become a disciplined society and that our behavior is monitored through surveillance, which punishes deviations from normal behavior according to the State. The origins of these administrations are linked to the creation of the welfare State, since these were created through unions, neighborhood associations and cooperatives.

As Foucault reiterates, the central pillar of the current state is based on administrations created to organize the population's life with a very clear function to control it.

Based on the fact that as citizens, we have not been given the opportunity to decide on bureaucratic procedures, which we are obliged to pass throughout our lives, in this project I question the interests and intentions behind these structures.

The project wants to emphasize this situation caused by the data distribution . We deposit various personal information in different administrations with direct connection with the state. We believe that our data are stored in a single space, that have a specific purpose, and we forget that, in the end, they will eventually be collected in the same space. These spaces have become familiar to us and we feel comfortable with them. The physical formalities will be made through the Internet, making even darker and greater the opacity of these functions of state control.

This photos was taken with large format analogical camera.

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