Machines of Loving Grace

Curator and ArtReview contributor Mike Watson on his experience as an artist and agitator at the Venice Biennale

By Mike Watson

Machines of Loving Grace, Venice 2015. Photo: Antti Tenetz Machines of Loving Grace, Venice 2015. Photo: Antti Tenetz Protest outside Peggy Guggenheim Foundation, Venice Biennale, May 2015. Photo: Mike Watson

‘If you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to hide’ is an expression often used to in debates about surveillance. If one has no intention of breaking the law there is no need to fear being watched and to do so can itself create suspicion. This argument has obvious flaws, not least because some things should just remain private, but also because once universal and constant surveillance exists, the law can be manipulated to make new activities illegal, leaving little…

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