Editor: Although Rodrigo Firmino’s long running Panopticam project has stopped working, this is worth knowing about.
About this Project
The idea of this project came from the irony of having the skeleton of the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham (with a wax head and real clothes) – known, among other things, for designing and proposing the panopticon, later explored by the French philosopher Michel Foucault – recording images of passers-by and visitors in one of the rooms in the main building of the University College London (UCL).
In his will, Bentham requested that after his death, his body be displayed in public, in what he called the “Auto-Icon”. At the UCL now, it is possible to see what is left from his body in a glass case. As part of a research project called PanoptiCam, from UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, UCL Public and Cultural Engagement, and UCL’s Bentham Project, a webcam was installed on the top of the Auto-Icon watching the reaction of passers-by looking at Jeremy’s remains, and broadcasts the images live online via twitter and youtube.