COVID-19 has forced multiple businesses to operate differently and has required people to be responsible enough not to go out in order to protect the vulnerable. The majority of educational and business meetings went online; teachers, professors, students, conference attendees and participants have suffered from lower engagement and difficulties in interaction.

In order to slow the spread of the virus, countries around the world have adopted different schemes and set guidelines for their citizens. The government of South Korea introduced a tracking application to stay ahead of the coronavirus outbreak. A few weeks later, they also considered introducing tracking wristbands. According to a public awareness survey conducted by South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) on implementing electronic wristbands to track people in compulsory quarantine, 80.2% responded positively, of which 47.1% selected ‘it is more important to prevent the spread of the virus’ as a reason for their support. 42.4% of those who responded negatively chose ‘it may violate human rights’ as a reason.
What led more than 80% of the respondents to support the imposition of tracking wristbands over privacy concerns? Reasons may vary. It could be a fear from the growing number of positive cases, or rage towards the people who violate quarantine rules when the nation is vitally in need of a wide sense of social responsibility to keep physical distancing.

At a time of global crisis, people are forced to adapt to a new normal, and big decisions are made by major institutions in a relatively short period of time. However, we should not let this confusion cloud our judgement on what risks surveillance technologies may bring-- it is not only about privacy invasion matters, but also about how information gathered via surveillance technology can be used. This project’s goal is not to weigh up the choices between health and privacy or to judge the decisions made by nations. It is concerned with how citizens understand developing network technology and its inseparable entanglement with commercial, military, political and public interest, and their awareness of citizen power to challenge the existing system, especially when the potential problems of surveillance systems are obscured at a time of emergency.
A collection of telegraph pole designs submitted by the public to BT in 1908, held in the  BT archive, inspired this project. The drawings, which were submitted by members of the British public who -- mistakenly -- believed there was a contest to design a new telegraph pole, describe not only telegraph poles themselves, but also how they could harmonise with a neighbourhood. Drawings show a way of thinking, both explicitly and implicitly. Taking this public design contest as a methodology, this project aims to share ideas on how people imagine surveillance in the future, and their awareness of their own power to challenge the existing system in a pandemic era.

A small contest was conducted, open to people with Korean citizenship, asking two questions:

︎ Design a digital panopticon system to monitor people who have tested positive or are under compulsory quarantine order in a pandemic future.
︎ Do you think citizens can change or resist this system?

Informants responded to the first question through drawings. The second question was answered verbally. Relevant information to understand the question, such as the meaning of panopticon, was also provided. Based on the responses collected, four systems and six escape scenarios were introduced together to build a fictional village, ‘Pixnopticon’.