BRUSSELS [BE] World Privacy Day Symposium
date: 2015-01-28

[Talk by Manu Luksch] Incursions into privacy are rooted in political choice, not technological failure. But our spheres of autonomy are very different from those even a decade ago. Through fiction and time travel, my talk provokes novel entry points into the rethinking of video surveillance. My sci-fi thriller FACELESS (2002-07) probes the robustness of the legal frameworks designed to protect us through opacity (anonymising citizens) and transparency (keeping a watch on the watchers). The Manifesto for CCTV Filmmakers summarises the film's production principles: only recordings obtained under data protection legislation may be used in the work. Art in full effect, scrutinising the law. But the resulting dystopia is not new. Already at the dawn of the electric age, the invention of the telephone had unleashed fantasies of seeing over distance. Archival films from over a hundred years ago, researched for my latest essay film DREAMS REWIRED (2015), provide a glimpse into the public imagination, the desires and anxieties of the time. Even then, surveillance was regarded as an unavoidable accomplice of televisual connection.