University of Tasmania

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The Onlooker

posted on 2023-05-25, 09:00 authored by Megan KeatingMegan Keating, Johnstone, S

The Onlooker raises questions about what it means to participate in contemporary screen culture and about the fair use of imagery and image data within this culture. The use and proliferation of imagery is such a mainstream activity however digital visual culture is generally unregulated, increasingly the moral, social, ethical and legal ramifications of this exchange economy are becoming problematic.

In the digitalised world of Facebook, Google image search, 24 hour news reportage, Pinterest, surveillance and the like, the act of observing and viewing is always linked to the camera or screen, which act as both medium and mediator. In these platforms images are shared, liked, edited and copied with ever-increasing speed and ease. Such imagery and its related data become surrogates for real world experience. In the capturing, downloading and displaying of images intentionally comes into play. In this realm media, mediation and display raises questions about ownership, agency and copyright of this material.

Light is used in this context as a metaphor for 'other' and acts as a conduit where image data, information, and access can be transformed into sensory engagement. The aim of this work is to provide a bodily engagement and real world experience from a range of sources that do not always offer one. It is the intention that the white void of the screen and other light sources unsettle the viewer through simultaneous revelation and concealment. By controlling and varying this source the works aim to explore the instability of viewing and the transient nature of contemporary image culture.



Mixed-media installation


School of Creative Arts and Media


M16 Artspace

Event Venue

M16 Artspace

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Rights statement

Copyright 2017 the creators

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

The creative arts

Usage metrics

    Non-traditional research outputs



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