Advertisement

The Birds: Public Art and a Narrative of Surveillance

  • Joel HawkesEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Built on the last area of undeveloped waterfront—once a location of sawmills and shipbuilders—the Olympic Village in Vancouver (2010 winter games) is now residential housing, touted by the city and Millennium Development Group as “one of the greenest communities in the world.” At its centre lies the Olympic Village Square, a public space of steel and glass that seems to conform to Richard Sennett’s reading of the modern city space as “safe because it is empty.” Such precise design of neutral space makes surveillance easy, but one often forgets the web of private and public cameras that capture every movement because “empty” space encourages easeful movement (Sennett). With reference to Sennett, Foucault, and Deleuze, I argue that The Birds compounds the emptiness of city space and its isolation from the natural world, while removing its sense of safety. In The Birds, we see how the out-of-placeness of public art can alert the viewer to the reality of a carefully controlled and monitored city space.

Bibliography

  1. Bruns, J. (2013). ‘The Proper Geography’: Hitchcock’s Adaptation of Daphne den Maurine’s “the Birds”. Class: A Journal of Detection, 31(1), 88.269–88.290.Google Scholar
  2. Cdm2. (2018). Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza. [Online]. http://cdm2lightworks.com. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  3. Deleuze, G. (1986). Cinema 1: The Movement-Image (trans: Tomlinson, H., & Habberjam, B.). London: The Athlone Press.Google Scholar
  4. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (trans: Massumi, B.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  5. Deutsche, R. (1991). Uneven Development: Public Art in New York City. In D. Ghisardo (Ed.), Out of Site: A Social Criticism of Architecture (pp. 157–219). Seattle: Bay Press.Google Scholar
  6. Du Maurier, D. (2003). The Birds and Other Stories. London: Virago Press.Google Scholar
  7. Foucault, M. (1997). Of Other Spaces: Utopias and Heterotopias. In N. Leach (Ed.), Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory (pp. 350–356). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  8. Hyslop, L. (2010). Winter Olympics on Slippery Slope After Vancouver Crackdown on Homeless. The Guardian. [Online]. https://www.theguardian.com. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  9. Jacobs, J. (1961). The Death and Life of the Great American Cities. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  10. Knight, C. (2008). Public Art: Theory and Practice and Populism. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  11. MacLeod, M. (2010). The Birds. [Sculpture] Vancouver: Olympic Village Square.Google Scholar
  12. Mason, G. (2014). Olympic Village Proves to be a Costly Lesson for Vancouver. The Globe and Mail. [Online]. https://www.theglobeandmail.com. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  13. McCombe, J. (2009). “Oh, I See. . .”: The Birds and the Culmination of Hitchcock’s Hyper-Romantic Vision. In M. Deutelbaum & L. Poague (Eds.), A Hitchcock Reader (2nd ed., pp. 264–279). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
  14. Miles, M. (1997). Art, Space and the City: Public Art and Urban Futures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Païni, D. (2001). The Wandering Gaze: Hitchcock’s Use of Transparencies. In D. Païni & G. Cogeval (Eds.), Hitchcock and Art: Fatal Coincidences (1st ed.). Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.Google Scholar
  16. Rear Window. (1954). [Film] Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcock.Google Scholar
  17. Schmidt-Burkhardt, A. (2002). The All-Seer: God’s Eye as Proto-Surveillance. In T. Levin, U. Frohne, & P. Weibel (Eds.), CTRL [SPACE]: Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother (1st ed., pp. 7–31). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  18. Sennett, R. (1990). The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities. New York: Alfred A. Kopf.Google Scholar
  19. Sprengler, C. (2014). Hitchcock and Contemporary Art. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Staples, W. (2014). Everyday Surveillance: Vigilance and Visibility (2nd ed.). Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  21. Steil, J., & Stalker, A. (2009). Public Art in Vancouver. Vancouver: Touchwood Editions.Google Scholar
  22. Stewart, G. (2015). Closed Circuits: Screening Narrative Surveillance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. The Birds. (1963). [Film] Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcock.Google Scholar
  24. Vancouver Public Space. (2010). VPSN Surveillance Map. [Blog] Vancouver Public Space Network. http://vancouverpublicspace.ca. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  25. Vancouver.ca. (2018). Olympic Village. [Online]. http://vancouver.ca. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  26. Vulliamy, C. (2013). Last Low-Income Tenants at Olympic Village Are Being “Forced Out.” The Mainlander. [Online]. http://themainlander.com. Accessed 10 Mar 2018.
  27. Zimmer, C. (2015). Surveillance Cinema. New York: New York University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

Personalised recommendations