Manel Kataieh is a full-time student pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of NSW (UNSW). She is majoring in Painting and Drawing and has also previously studied multiple courses such as Fashion Design and Diploma of Fine Arts at TAFE NSW where she has exhibited her works at the Penrith Region.
Her works are usually both Traditional and contemporary art paintings and drawings.
Surveillance, Manel Kataieh
My artwork explores surveillance technology, its place in contemporary society and its impact upon people’s privacy. Surveillance devices such as CCTV cameras, Google Earth, Google Maps, surveillance drones, tracking devices, GPS, and RTS-2 (Racial Targeting System) are becoming increasingly pervasive and invasive.
They engender a sense of entrapment as articulated by Paul Virilio:
“In principle, every point on Earth is now instantly accessible From any other point on Earth. As a consequence, these Technologies lock us in a claustrophobic world without any Depth or horizon; the Earth becomes our prison.”
Even though surveillance technology has many potential advantages when employed in the service of safety and security goals, these are counterbalanced by risks involved in the availability of private information to malicious parties such as computer hackers.
I am intrigued by the concept of surveillance eating into our privacy. Pac-Man, a modern classic, overlaps with Indigenous Australian art which employs dots to represent sacred objects tacitly and respectfully.* The multiple yellow characters symbolise surveillance technologies, eating the little dots which denote the private and sacred areas of our lives. The backdrop is a bird’s-eye view of my neighbourhoods selected
using Google Earth.
Mediums used are an Aboriginal carved snow gum tree, acrylic paint and luminescent paint.