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Juvenal Who Will Watch the Watchers Obvious State Illustration

Penned in 100 AD, Juneval’s most memorable quotation is a prescient warning about the unchecked power of overlords. Did he wax a little dramatic-slash-paranoid? Fair enough. But this observation feels more relevant than ever.

Whether it’s big government, big tech, big pharma, big data, or any of the other bigs, we ignore Juvenal's question at our own peril.


Has big tech merged into one giant, all-seeing algorithmic eye that tracks our interactions, maps our social networks and locations, monitors our vitals, then analyzes, packages and sells that data to the other bigs?

Have the other bigs formed one bigger big? Or have we binge-watched too much Black Mirror?

Being constantly wired in is new to human beings, and we derive our best guesses regarding its detrimental effects from dystopian literature and totalitarian governments.

Neither of which is comforting.

JUVENAL Who will watch the watchers? Obvious State art print

In our illustration, a group of dazed individuals bask in the light of their screens, their shadows casting avatars into a cloud of ones and zeros. The human hive forms the shape of a giant eye, peering curiously through the print into your house.

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Juvenal Who Will Watch the Watchers by Obvious State

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