Mixed media installation
In this installation, Marc Lee shows the wonderful world of surveillance technology. On a shelf are cameras in all possible forms: hidden spy cams, surveillance cams, night vision webcams, real-looking dummy cams. As a counter-design to the utopia of total security through camera surveillance, Lee shows the website insecam.org: The visitors of the website have access to the images of thousands of unsecured cameras around the world.
Part 1: Audio trailer
Part 2: Surveillance IP cameras online
Part 3: Shop with security cameras, hidden camera kits, dummy cameras, monitors, accessories and Lego
A long storage rack like one finds in an electronic appliances store displays all the products with which one can become part of the world of global surveillance; especially cameras, both real and dummies, visible as a deterrent or camouflaged as smoke detection devices or wall clocks. This hardware can also be used to upgrade one’s private sphere so that one lives under the protection of electronic eyes. The following advertising announcement is heard via headphones:
«This is important: Make a clear choice to record and be recorded. Make a change. It’s your own individual right. We are the new generation. It’s a challenge, be virtually everywhere, create communities, network and exchange. Don’t escape and don’t occupy spaces, let them be open and free. And when you publish or talk to an algorithm, never be anonymous. Crime will fall rapidly. Our life will be better. Your choice is our choice.»
An alternative to this vision are the shots from live webcams in real-time seen on the monitor. These images present a different truth: unsecured security cameras installed in private contexts upload unencrypted images to the Internet. Users can access these images via websites, but as the websites are not even password-protected, anyone can access the images. The private sphere may be safer, but at the price that it is less private.
Text: Sebastian Althoff
Boston bombings, 9/11, we need “rings of steel,” we need more cameras, and we need them now. We all know, we are seen and recorded without a choice. In public transportations, shopping malls, cafe shops, museums, e-mails, hangouts, online and offline, public and private, outside on the street and at demonstrations. It’s not just for your own safety; it’s for the safety of us all.
Buy surveillance cams and become part of this wise movement. It’s a corporate evolution. There are countless camera models, designed for all our needs. Wireless hidden spy cams. Lightweight water- and ice-proof surveillance cams, high resolution night vision Webcams — for offices, schools, households, toys, cars, animals, and drones. Today, people feel unsafe if they don’t see surveillance cams. Therefore, at least invest in blinking dummy cams. But try to be more responsible — monitor and record your house and garden, your neighbors and street, 24/7. And make it available online. Store it automatically in the Cloud, on open networks and peer-to-peer file sharing. The algorithm bubble is for all of us. Post and tweet it, on the social web and empower it by retweeting it again. You don’t have to be afraid, feel free, proud, and privileged. Even if it seems technically complicated, it isn’t. We’ll help you, we are all behind you. Be part of this smart web culture; it’s fun, addressing this encouraging enrichment worldwide. Your recordings help to train and improve sophisticated software. They identify objects, by size, shape, color, and movement. They can read license plates and recognize cars. When it comes to people, they detect our gender, approximate age, and demographic information. They automatically zoom in on any person’s face and identify us based on things like the distance between our eyes and the shape of our nose. They recognize our mood and emotions and analyze our feelings. They spot and tag systematically and enrich our user profiles. To get a clearer picture of us all, recordings are linked, combined, and harmonized, like with Facebook’s huge facial recognition databases and countless other rich veins of data services. It’s for the bigger picture, spotting criminal activity before it happens.
Only a few privacy advocates are uneasy about the idea that Big Brother is monitoring our every move. The truth is, cameras make people feel free and more secure, knowing that bad guys are being watched. After cameras are installed, crime falls rapidly. When you tolerate being seen and recorded, we can all learn from it, now, as well as future generations. We will be an-individualized, normalized, and we will be as one. We and our children will feel safe and secure inside and outside, in the street, in the fresh air, on public transport. This is openness, generous, liberal and tolerant, recording us now and for the future. Your actions will be embedded in our history. You will not be forgotten, you will be seen forever. This is important: Make a clear choice to record and be recorded. Make a change. It’s your own individual right. We are the new generation. It’s a challenge, be virtually everywhere, create communities, network and exchange. Don’t escape and don’t occupy spaces, let them be open and free. And when you publish or talk to an algorithm, never be anonymous. Crime will fall rapidly. Our life will be better. Your choice is our choice.