The Panopticon: a place of surveillance

The place of surveillance par excellence was theorized by Jeremy Bentham in his book Panopticon, in 1791.

The issue is to make observation the most important point of detention.

Michel Foucault will recall this idea to comment:

“The true effect of the Panopticon is to be such that, even when there is no one there, the individual in his cell not only believes but knows he is being observed that he has the constant experience of being in a state of visibility for the gaze.”

Michel Foucault, Le Pouvoir Psychiatrique, 2003

Bentham was persuaded to have found there the best possible means of detention, since he devoted much money to try to concretize his plans.