The Art of Ubiquitous Surveillance

by Chris Borgen

No, I’m not talking about how to do ubiquitous surveillance. Rather, I’m talking about how to take the product of massive video surveillance and turn it into, ahem, Art. (Well, maybe that’s only a small-a “art.”) Anyway, let’s say you’re an unsigned band from Manchester, England, and you want to make a video. You could hire some hip upstart video director, hire some models as extras, rent video cameras, lighting, props, etc. Or, well, you could just do this:

Unable to afford a proper camera crew and equipment, The Get Out Clause, an unsigned band from the city, decided to make use of the cameras seen all over British streets.

With an estimated 13 million CCTV [closed circuit television] cameras in Britain, suitable locations were not hard to come by.

They set up their equipment, drum kit and all, in eighty locations around Manchester – including on a bus – and proceeded to play to the cameras.

Afterwards they wrote to the companies or organisations involved and asked for the footage under the Freedom of Information Act.

Those cheeky Brits. It seems that they are part of a broader group of artists using CCTV.  I guess the revolution will be televised, after all.  See the video after the jump:

http://opiniojuris.org/2008/11/13/the-art-of-ubiquitous-surveillance/

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