Cimala, Michal / Paranoid city / Cameras
acrylic, spray paint, canvas, 129,5 × 190 cm
purchased in 2020 with the support of the Czech Ministry of Culture
The fear that technology will conquer humans has been a major concern since the beginning of the 20th century. Techno-optimism can easily descend into paranoia and dystopia. In the 21st century, we are faced with increasingly severe cyber-threats. Discussions are focusing on the possibility of the uncontrolled spread of artificial intelligence and robotization, as automated systems increasingly replace human employees. Our lives are now inextricably bound up with technologies. On the one hand this can make our work and lives easier, but on the other hand it is difficult to predict where this course of development will lead and whether this symbiosis will remain a comfortable one for humans. One of the negative symptoms of technological development (which emerged in the Czech Republic during the 1990s) is the spread of surveillance cameras, which have gradually colonized public spaces. Originally intended to protect people, these cameras have now given rise to an unpleasant sensation of being constantly watched. The streets – which have always been a romantic site of freedom and anonymity, a place where we can escape the system – have now become a sterile, repressive and paranoid space.