Brought to Light: Vulnerability and Transparency in the Surveillance Age

Join artist-scholar Isa Fontbona and scholar Camilla Cannon in a conversation about Fontbona’s recent piece, “Corporeal Cartographies of Vulnerability.” For this work, Fontbona solicited messages from people all over the world asking them to describe discriminatory experiences. She displayed these messages on her near-naked body in a 10-hour live-streamed performance. Building on Fontbona’s piece, Fontbona and Cannon will discuss the fluidity of transparency, vulnerability, and surveillance. How should we, as Internet users, balance the Internet’s ability to combat societal incitements to shame through radical vulnerability and the reality of constant online surveillance as we attempt to weave worldwide communities of care using the internet and other technologies? Fontbona and Cannon will discuss this question and many others in an open-ended conversation that includes the audience.


Isa Fontbona is a Ph.D. candidate, natural bodybuilder competitor, and a performance artist. Fontbona holds two Bachelor’s Degrees, in Philosophy and Art History, as well as a Master’s Degree in Humanity Research at the University of Girona, Spain. Currently, she is completing her dissertation on the artistic and gendered interventions enabled by female and trans bodybuilding practices. Her artistic work allows her to explore the malleability of the body through bodybuilding as a tool. She tends to ask about identity issues, and also about the relationship between identity and the body. In some artworks, she drives herself to uncomfortable positions or challenges herself to the limits of the endurance of her body.

Camilla Cannon studies at the intersection of transgender studies, surveillance studies, and national security studies. Camilla is particularly interested in how to act ethically in a world defined by constant surveillance and the monetization of individual and collective online behavior. Camilla is a Ph.D. student in the American Studies program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 

April 20, 2021, 12:00 CST

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 982 0643 8536

Passcode: 257016

This project is part of “Possessing a common logic,” a series of discussions and collaborations between philosophers, theorists, artists, and performers. Curator Jeanette Joy Harris brings together two creative thinkers from different disciplines and invites them to uncover a common logic or underlying thread that connects their practices.

Working toward resonances not necessarily similarities and shared ways of thinking not necessarily shared thoughts, the end result is unpredictable. This series aims to imagine new possibilities and projects through difference. It moves away from a purely critical mode of engagement, focusing, instead on creation and construction. 

This work is funded in part by the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

#LetCreativityHappen19 #publicphilosophy #philosophyoflife #artactivism #surveillance #vulnerability #transparency #performanceart #aestheticsoftransparency #beingwatched #technology #internet #livestream #radicalvulnerability

@Houston MOCA @houstonartsalliance @camillakcan @isafontbona

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