Prada Mode Under Surveillance
Prada Mode’s fourth iteration has been at Maxim’s Club for the beginning of Paris Haute Couture.
Somewhere between a think-tank and a club, the eponymous brand’s institutional hybrid is currently being overseen by technophile artist Trevor Paglen and AI specialist Kate Crawford. Their live program contains a series of talks, performances, and an installation on the state of contemporary digital surveillance, where the artist Hito Steyerl will take visitors through issues such as the politics of facial profiling and the use of AI by authoritarian states.
In the art nouveau architecture of this début de siècle atmosphere, the artists have developed several windows and displays marked by characterology, a pseudoscience based on methods of personality reading. It attempts to decipher an individual’s character and intelligence through their appearance. Inspired by this anxious historical precedent, Paglen and Crawford have created a digital panoptic installation where the visitor is immersed in a dystopian state of constant observation, replete with live analysis of visitors’ own data. To complete this ambitious program, the legendary dark ambient composer’s William Basinski has programmed a series of chaotic loops for the observing crowds.