Mass Observation was an astonishing long-term social research project founded in Great Britain in 1937 by a small collective of creative anthropologists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers. It eventually involved hundreds of citizen volunteers and amassed a huge archive of observation journals and surreptitious photography documenting quotidian British life. Tracing the movement's evolution from eccentric hobby to wartime domestic spy unit to market research firm, How Little We Know of Our Neighbors reflects on the present-day condition of heightened security, public surveillance, and voluntary market profiling. With Photofinish Figures, an impressionistic array of faces in the metropolis, and Posers, a document of photographic posturing.
Surveillance Then and Now
Related Exhibition Exposed
Thursday, February 10, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Phyllis Wattis Theater
How Little We Know of Our Neighbors, Rebecca Baron, 2005, 49 min., video
Il finish delle figure (Photofinish Figures), Paolo Gioli, 2009, 9 min., 16mm
Posers, Scott Stark, 2000, 12 min., video
Rebecca Baron, How Little We Know of Our Neighbors (still), 2005; image courtesy of the artist and San Francisco Cinematheque
Presented by San Francisco Cinematheque.