Archive for May, 2011

The City and Surveillance Culture. Artworks about privacy and transparency of information

May 13th, 2011
Stanza Artwork

Stanza Artwork. STANZA ON CCTV

“Imagine walking out the door, and knowing every single action, movement, sound, micro movement, pulse, and thread of information is being tracked, monitored, stored, analysed, interpreted, and logged. The world we will live in seems to be a much bigger brother, than first realised, its the mother of big brother.”  Stanza

The city also has millions of CCTV. In essence the city is the biggest TV station in existence. Millions of hours worth of data are recorded every day by these cameras on city TV. One can take the sounds and images off live web streams and  re-represent them thus creating new interpretations of the city in the process.

The city already has a recorded source of data, CCTV is everywhere. Using  data  from cctv, you can bring the outside inside. Selected feeds are collected from around the  world in real  time.  These real time images are fed into a software system  where a series of specialised channels rework these images. The channels are always on, and  always changing, a constant  view  of  the world changing  and evolving around  the  clock.  This uses especially created  software  and technology to  randomly  find images in real time from anywhere in the network, in this case anywhere in the world.

The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Mobile data mining will be part of the fabric of the landscape.  We will be carrying this data in pods, phones and IDS cards. Everything is or will be tracked. CCTV, car sensors, tracking inside our phones and id card movement tracking in the guise of anti- terror activity.

The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and sourced for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of information will be a new currency as power change. The central issue that will develop will be the privilege and access to these data sources.

watershed-publicityUses of this information and data should allow rich new interpretations on the way our world is built, used, and designed.

So can we  imagine the city at a different scale. Maybe it is possible to extend our imagination and enable that perception of the city as a dynamic, real time network. We can now put systems in place that can re–employ our perception and thus create new understanding of how this behaviour unfolds. There are patterns, they are connected and the systems that evolve, can be simulated and acted upon.

We can influence the process and the system and we can also create variables into this system that allows further understanding of the bi-products of the system, the data, and the resulting information. Is it a  world full of data that can help understand the fundamentals of our outside environment, and monitor the micro codes of our dna to monitor disease? Is it a world where we are liberated and empowered by data, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually  work for us.