di Andrea Alessandrini
Argo panoptes (all-seeing), a giant of Greek mythology, had a hundred eyes and slept with half of them closed.
In 1791 the philosopher Jeremy Bentham called Panopticon the ideal model for a prison. It had a single viewing tower in the centre of a circular prison, were all the prisoners could be observed, without the watchman being seen.
Today there are thousands of unprotected surveillance webcams. They are placed in houses, shops and in the streets. They have become tools of mass control and they have become honeypots for hackers, voyeurs, experimenters and the curious. By searching the Net with the right words, it is possible to take control of them.
This touches everyone, protected by anonymity, in the uninterrupted flow of bits that spread images all over the planet. Some sites publish "live" images and even offer the opportunity to share these on social media.
Who controls and who is controlled?
Alessandrini has spent month surfing world of webcams, entering the lives of those who installed cameras without changing usernames and passwords. It is easy to find them and to observe. Thousands of images in a confused sequence evoke unknown figures and places.
The artist has discovered solitude and fragility, feeling even more alone.
This project reflects on the uninformed use of the technology and on the unconscious loss of privacy.
Andrea Alessandrini was born and works in Rome. He is married and is the father of young twins: Giulio and Simone.
He studied documentary photography and the Roman School of Photography, at LUZ and at D.O.O.R. He participated in the master on the photographic book by Skinnerboox & Blank paper in 2017 and D.O.O.R. in 2018.
He attended workshops with, Max Pinckers, Corinne Noordenbos, Rafal Milach, Bertien Van Maanen, Federico Clavarino, Ricardo Cases, Antonio Xoubanova and David Campany, amongst others.
He works on long-term personal projects and is one of the photo-lab coordinators at the CivicoZero centre for young migrants in Rome, which is funded by Save the Children.
In 2016 he was one of the winners of Slideluck Roma with La colomba e il corvo. In the same year he was a finalist in the Streamers award for the Piccola Russia project. The book with the same name was awarded the best dummy in Fotoleggendo 2018.
He believes in the therapeutic effect of photography and is always looking for places and stories to tell. He often finds them in his own backyard.