The Spectacle

“Spectacle” comes from Guy Debord’s 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle. It is manifested in that the individual becomes a passive subject, controlled by images and commercialised information. People are audience watching the spectacle, and at the same time they are a part of the spectacle to be watched. In a society where modern production conditions are ubiquitous, life itself is presented as a huge collection of spectacle, and everything that exists directly is transformed into an appearance. ‘‘The real world is reduced to ‘simple images’, and images are upgraded to ‘real existence’”. This spectacle has replaced and surpassed reality where people cannot tell whether it is real.

I focus my research on exploring the relationship between “seeing” and “being seen” in the spectacle, to show how people live in the city of the spectacle where they are all part of a reality show, they no longer can tell what is performing and what is performed, and every moment they all watching others and being watched by someone else. Based on this, I chose Manchester as the location of my filming set for creating the city of the spectacle, use the concept of escape as the narrative way, and applied the conceptual scenarios to the actual city to show different characteristics of the spectacle. My project itself is the present of the spectacle. My attempt is to expose separation and alienation, construct situation, and manipulate the images to dominate people’s senses. The entire narrative story is developed around my escape route, and leaving the “watching” and “being watched by the audience” scenario is the rebellion of expectations against the society of the spectacle.