Video Conferencing from Prison: Inmates, Screens, and the Remote Custody Dock

By Carolyn McKay.

Published by The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Video conferencing technologies and screens are populating criminal courtrooms and prisons in jurisdictions around the world. Live video links are replacing inmates’ physical appearance in the courtroom dock—instead, the inmate appears from a remote prison video booth as a docile, two-dimensional image secured on a screen. This paper addresses the perspective of the incarcerated person, the resulting dematerialisation or relocation of the custody dock, the phenomenology of space and screens, proprioception and the author’s visual arts response. The incursion of video technologies into courts and prisons alters the human experience of criminal process and creates a new visual episteme of the criminal justice system that may be critiqued through a visual arts practice to reveal fresh perspectives.

Keywords: Video Conferencing, Prisoners, Phenomenology, Visual Arts

The International Journal of New Media, Technology and the Arts, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.21-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 368.429KB).

Carolyn McKay

Research Candidate, Lecturer, Sydney Law School , Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Carolyn McKay a visual artist who works with digital video and photomedia to explore the impact of video technologies in the criminal justice system. Her work has been exhibited throughout Australia and internationally, and is held in several public collections. She is a PhD candidate in criminology at the University of Sydney, a lecturer in ‘Research Methodologies in Art Practice’ at Sydney College of the Arts, 'Legal Research' at Sydney Law School and 'Professional Practice' at the University of Newcastle. Qualifications: BCom LLB (UNSW), MSA (USYD), MVA (USYD) and currently the recipient of the John O’Brien Memorial Research Scholarship in Criminal Law and Criminology. Website: www.