Art & Surveillance /// Robert Lawrence – Tango Panopticon (2009 – …)

Robert Lawrence Robert Lawrence

Tango Panopticon (2009-ongoing) is een van de “tango interventions” van de Amerikaanse kunstenaar Robert Lawrence. Daarmee mixt Lawrence zijn liefde voor de sensuele tango met zijn bezorgdheid over de toenemende kille surveillance technologieën. Tijdens een Tango Panopticon bewegen de dansers zich in de publieke ruimtes onder het oog van de bewakingscamera’s. De performances worden telkens live op het internet gestreamd. Door te dansen onder het oog van de camera’s, wil Lawrence de vraag stellen wat die camera’s daar doen en waarom ze er hangen.

Op zijn website legt Lawrence de idee achter het Tango Panopticon als volgt uit:

“(..) the dance interventions will essentially be beautiful milongas in completely unexpected places, each a perfect sensuous celebration of spring, with nothing overtly, or even remotely, political about it really. The website will point out that each Tango Panopticon event is taking place in an area that is being monitored by government or private surveillance cameras that now are so extensive as to cover all or portions of all city blocks in most metropolitan areas, as well as unexpected places such as parks, bridges, transit facilities…the list goes on and on.”

Voor Lawrence is het verband tussen tango en protest duidelijk:

“So what is this surveillance aspect about? As the product of immigrant culture Tango has a history tangled in issues of labor, identity, and the struggle for individual expression and rights. In many ways this beautiful dance that we love is a manifestation of that struggle at the same time that it is a profound and intimate communication between two people (who are not all likely to be thinking anything even remotely political). This event, like all Tango Interventions, gets at this dual nature of tango. Tango Panopticon is an international affirmation of individual rights in a world increasingly monitored by unseen government and corporate powers, and Tango Panopticon is a worldwide dance party celebrating the sensuous.”

[vimeo 61102805 w=600&h=337]