ART WORK/PROJECT NAME: PANOPTICON I
Panopticon I (2015) continues Bennett’s exploration of conceptions of the utopian and dystopian, with this work presenting an endlessly rotating point-of-view of a circular panoptic structure. This construction is populated by an ever-expanding taxonomy of animated figures, plants, objects, and architecture which interact, assemble and re-assemble, simultaneously fixed and unstable, trapped in ceaseless loops and cycles in a form of animated stasis. The Panopticon was an institutional design concept created by 18th century English philosopher Jeremy Bentham, wherein a single watcher is able to observe all the inmates of an institution simultaneously. Inmate knowledge of this surveillance would be an effective means of self-monitored behaviour control. Originally considered a progressive and enlightened solution to societal problems, the Panopticon has come to be read as a metaphor for modern “disciplinary” societies and their pervasive inclination to observe and normalise, most notably by French philosopher Michel Foucault in his work Discipline and Punish (1975).
ABOUT THE ARTIST: GREGORY BENNET
Gregory Bennett is an artist who works with 3D animation, motion capture, projection mapping and virtual reality. He has exhibited his work internationally in New Zealand, Australia, the USA, and Europe, and his work is represented in both public and private collections. Notable recent exhibitions include the real-fake.org.2.0, a survey of international digital artists at the BronxArtSpace in New York, the juried exhibition at the 2016 International Symposium on Electronic Art in Hong Kong, and the Supernova 2017 Digital Animation Festival in the USA. He was also a finalist in the 7th Screengrab International Media Arts Award in Australia in 2015, and was selected for the Video Contemporary exhibition at the Sydney Contemporary International Art Fair. He also is currently the Head of Department for Digital Design and Visual Arts at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.