Title: Growing Gazes : Omniscient, Metaphorical and Reflexive Eyes
Professor David Lyon, Professor of Sociology & Professor of Law, Director of Surveillance Studies Centre, Queens University, Canada
Watching others is an inescapably cultural practice and beliefs about who may watch whom or why watching is worthwhile have been part of that practice throughout history. The following three key types of gaze have a strong relationship with modern surveillance and each raises ethical and political issues. The omniscient eye started with a secular Enlightenment parody of divine omniscience that privileged the eye, seen from the Panopticon to Total Information Awareness. This gaze produces anxiety because surveillance ambiguities are ironed out in the relentless rationality of the eye of control. Technical pan-perception has no place for care, although care is evident in much surveillance. The metaphorical eye or “seeing with data” exists in modern bureaucracy, through the information state to contemporary database surveillance. This may be considered in terms of disembodied information on the individual level and biopower in relation to populations. Today, biopower is basic to the allocation of access to opportunities and rewards. It is surveillance as social sorting. With the reflexive eye, the object is also subject, actively participating in surveillance processes. Surveillance is seen as an element in constitution of everyday life; equally, the subject produces surveillance. Social media are implicated but the reflexive eye is not new; previous top-‐down depictions of surveillance have failed properly to acknowledge the two-‐way gaze.
David Lyon is Director, Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen’s Research Chair in Surveillance Studies, Professor of Sociology and Professor of Law at Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. From 2008-‐2010 he held a Killam Research Fellowship from the Canada Council. In 2007 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Sociological Association, Communication and Information Technology Section and in 2008 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He has authored or edited 26 books and published many articles. The books have been translated into 16 languages and articles more.
The most recent sole-‐authored books are Identifying Citizens: ID Cards as Surveillance (2009) and Surveillance Studies: An Overview (2007) and the newest co-‐edited collections are Eyes Everywhere: The Global Growth of Camera Surveillance (2012) and the Handbook of Surveillance Studies (2012). Liquid Surveillance: Zygmunt Bauman and David Lyon in Conversation will appear in 2012. The Culture of Surveillance should be published in 2013. He is on the international editorial boards of a number of journals, co-‐editor of Surveillance and Society and associate editor of The Information Society. He has held visiting positions at universities in Australia, England, France, India, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and