Multiple surveillance views form a hidden architecture of our cities and threaten us with their purported deterrence, voyeurism and control. If we are increasingly being denied privacy while negotiating our bodies in public space, let’s make the surveillance public, its architecture visible.
The project will attempt to hack into the streams and views that comprise surveillance media in Ljubljana. Audio will be provided to the sites. Four such streams will be fed back to each other using a quad interface, therby building a temporary network, including public and private space.
The canvas of this alternative network architecture could be used to create new on-site(s) media: ambient and sudden conversations, performance, public acts of disobedience, absurd responses, music, poetry, propaganda...
Whatever the reaction to the interface, the networked views while open to the participant, will not be visible to the original surveillance monitors. This is because the video cables are "tapped" by splitting the signal at the camera source itself. The feed from the other locations stream to each other on a monitor placed squarely in the centre of the cameras view, but facing outwards.The streams will not be recorded. Yet, at each given site, all our actions will continue to be watched, recorded and stored by the CCTV systems.
During HAIP (Pronounced “hipe, as in pipe”), we hoped to be able to make public the views from surveillance cameras, either through consent of the property owners, by attaching a video splitter at the source of the camera, or by an act of ‘copying’ the view, by hoisting our own cameras onto the forbidden ones.
Bostjan at Kiberpipa suggested we stream; net access even in public spaces would not be a problem, neither would computers and monitors. They would work out the streaming at kiberpipa, naturally using open source software.
More notes from Shaina are here.
Bostjan's notes on the process from installation to streaming as well as the scripts are here.