Reflectionist art creates symmetry between performer and audience (or
recipient), in order to establish a "mirror" in which the audience sees itself
and its own absurdity.
It is a form of détournement that
not only by appropriates the tools of the oppressor, but turns those same tools
against the oppressor. Therefore, a reflectionist work
appears to lack agency: no one confronts or attacks the viewer but his
or her own image.
For example, I have used the WearCam apparatus to record the
activities of security guards whose establishment has placed me
under involuntary surveillance, thus establishing a mirrorlike symmetry
I coined the term "Reflectionism" because of the movement's two goals:
to create a "mirrorlike" symmetry, and
to induce deep thought ("reflection") through the construction of this
The origins of reflectionism are in the "surveillance situationist"
tradition of resituating the video camera in a disturbing and
disorienting fashion in order to challenge society's pre-concieved
biases and notions of video surveillance.
For more on reflectionism, see
Reflectionism and Diffusionism:
New Tactics for Deconstructing the Video Surveillance Superhighway