Watching You Watch Jeremy Bentham
March 28, 2016 8:49 AM   Subscribe

The Panopticam sits atop the (in)famous auto-icon of philosopher Jeremy Bentham at University College London. While it's "a tongue in cheek comment on Bentham’s ideas of his Panopticon 'inspection house,'" the project is also intended "to test algorithms to count visitor numbers to museum exhibit cases using low cost webcam solutions." Of course, this means that Bentham has his own Twitter feed. For Bentham's upkeep, see the page on conservation; previous MeFi adventures of the auto-icon here.
posted by thomas j wise (6 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Ha, I was at UCL not long ago and the seminar organizer asked if I wanted to "meet Bentham". Very glad to see he has a Twitter feed, now looking for my own face obviously.
posted by busted_crayons at 9:00 AM on March 28, 2016

The guy you see holding up signs in the Twitter feed (1, 2, etc.) is Rodrigo Firmino, a UCL visiting researcher custodiet-ing the custodes. He notes that the Panopticam has been offline for a while.
posted by zamboni at 9:13 AM on March 28, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hahaha, zamboni, I was just thinking of holding some revisions to a paper I'm working on with a UCL colleague hostage until he holds up a sign in front of Jeremy with "My Name is __ and I heart Boaty McBoatface 4ever."

These last few days have just been great on MeFi for headless bodies and technology!
posted by barchan at 9:26 AM on March 28, 2016

MetaFilter: headless bodies and technology!
posted by Fizz at 9:28 AM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

umm, trigger warning, I guess: I Hung Out With Jeremy Bentham's Severed Head and This is What I Learned from Buzzfeed.

The photos are as gruesome as you might expect, given this extract from the Auto-Icon link: Bentham had originally intended that his head should be part of the Auto-Icon, and for ten years before his death (so runs another story) carried around in his pocket the glass eyes which were to adorn it. Unfortunately when the time came to preserve it for posterity, the process of desiccation, as practiced by New Zealand Maoris, went disastrously wrong...leaving it decidedly unattractive.
posted by glasseyes at 10:05 AM on March 28, 2016

The most unctuous burial request ever.
posted by clavdivs at 2:19 PM on March 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

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