2016 / Fine Art / Abstract

House of One Thousand Eyes

  • Photographer
    Cynthia Bittenfield

This series, House of One Thousand Eyes, documents the linoleum floors located in the former Stasi Headquarters in Leipzig and Berlin. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the East German citizens stormed the Stasi Headquarters in an effort to prevent the further destruction of personal files. Throughout the post-war period the government kept extensive records on their citizens. The goal of the Stasi Police was to know everything about everyone. At its peak the Stasi Police in East Germany had 97,000 employees. In addition, 173,000 were IM - inofizielle mitarbeiter or unofficial collaborators. Friends, neighbors, co-workers, spouses could potentially be spying on you and providing information to the Stasi. The methods of spy craft used at that time, surveillance of mail and telephone communications, buttonhole cameras, wiretapping and bugging seem pedestrian to the modern methods available with cell phone technology.