4D – Surveillance Art

Jill Magid – Evidence Locker


Magid chronicled a month spent in Liverpool, during which time she was in close communication with the operators of the citywide CCTV system. She carefully choreographed and edited actions in public places that were thereby initially filmed by the police cameras. Identifying herself by a bright red raincoat, she would call the police with her location and ask them to film her—in one case, going so far as to blindfold herself and ask the officers to guide her through the streets. “At 1 PM I called you, Can you see me? I am by the horse sculpture. ‘Are you wearing your red coat?’ Yes. ‘I got you…’” Eventually, she submitted a total of 31 official legal requests to retrieve each day’s footage and then composed them as dreamlike diary entries and candid love letters available by email subscription on the project’s microsite.

We are interested in the idea of surveillance and the exploration of the concept of “Big Brother”. The idea that Big Brother is always watching helps to generate interest that there is always a person watching you so you better behave.

While there are legal issues on Surveillance Art, it does prove the point on how people are more likely to behave when they think they are being watched.

The next inspiration I had is not really an artwork, but reality show, where they have a mini-game segment on “reading” or insulting. Our proposed object has the idea of giving out insults to participants. The ones on the receiving end however, area not taking themselves too seriously so all is good after a day of insults.

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Jenson Gabriel Tan

I like to research on textiles, fashion, gender and fiction.

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