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Hidden Cameras and Sting Operations, Weds 3/26 noon

Folks, I highly recommend this talk by Lawrence Liang this coming Wednesday. Besides being a sponsor for one of the UMSI GIEP projects for this year, he is a major figure in both the Human Rights scene in India, and in film archiving, as the founder of the indiancine.ma project.


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Yahoo! Seminar Series: A heap of broken images

Noon-1 PM, 3/26/2014, Ehrlicher Room 3100 NQ

A heap of broken images: cameras as screen between our public and private selves

Lawrence Liang

The emergence of photography and film as ‘new media’ at the turn of the 19th century unsettled the ontological stability of visual arts. A century later we see a similar destabilizing of film with the emergence of a wide range of visual practices enabled by digital technology. As image making technologies proliferate from mobile phones and cheap digital cameras to surveillance videos the question of what constitutes a moving image regains significance.

Liang's talk will focus on the regime of images produced by the hidden camera. The two key sites which display a discourse of the hidden camera have been in the Sting Operation and its revelation of public corruption, and leaked videos of private sexual intercourse. These are two important signposts of contemporary media life, and have been at the heart of debates over privacy, media ethics and legal disorder. While film theory has always been concerned with the ontological condition of the camera, there is an urgent need to reexamine the relationship between film studies and the incipient world of the moving image.

This talk will examine the philosophical consequences of the world of hidden cameras and ask what it means to think of our public and private selves and their mediation by the camera.

Speaker Bio: Lawrence Liang is a founder of the Alternative Law Forum in Bangalore. He works on the intersection of law, technology and culture. He is currently finishing a book on law, justice and cinema and is the author of The public is watching: Sex, laws and videotape as well as A guide to open content licenses.

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