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The Panopticon

A deeper history and understanding of Panopticon.

World Wide Weber

by Raluca Igr

Before giving the contemporary context of what Panopticon means, let’s turn a bit in time and find roots in old legends and myths, beyond which we can later understand that surveillance and power have evolved within one concept.

So, we can find the roots of the word Panopticon within the Greek myth of Argus Panoptes who saw everything but was never been seeing. In one of the version of the myth, he was having only one eye, but was omnipresent; in another, he was having 4 eyes, each one turned at a cardinal point; or he was having a body covered in eyes. Panoptes means “he who sees everything” and was a giant who had saved Arcadia from the rage of a horrifying bull and who was recognized as a sort of police force that protected farmers and shepherds. ( in the legend, he was transformed in…

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