Kneippness ® (Safeness)

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Art goes Heiligendamn was held in Rostock during the G-8 summit, June 2007.

A set of abandoned warehouses on the banks of the Warnow River, were reclaimed for the purposes of this exhibition. They were now a videohalle, featuring videos and artworks by a number of international artists, an event space for talks and performance - the kurhaus, a cafeteria and bar - gasthof scheinheilig and a hotel parodying the Kempinski, the silver pearl.

A CCTV system was installed at this site using 4 surveillance cameras. The live feed switching every 5 seconds from location to location was interrupted at random with recorded video.

These 'inserted' clips comprised of footage of security infrastructure and de-escalation build-up in the run-up to the G-8, shot close to site in Rostock and also along the fence at Heiligendamm.

The 4 cameras were located:
1. Overlooking the main gate to the exhibition and the entrance to the Videohalle
2. Inside the bar and catering tent.
3. Close to the roof of the Kurhaus shed, overlooking the back lane, the fence and the toilets.
4. On a lamp post overlooking the 'hotel' and the banks of the Warnow.

This feed switching every 5 seconds from location to location could be viewed at 4 sites:
1. On a projection screen in the Video halle.
2. On a TV placed on the food table inside the bar and catering tent.
3. On a TV placed Inside the Kurhaus.
4. On a TV in the reception area of the Hotel.

The titled of the work comes from the hoarding of a hotel in Rostock:

"Kneippness ® - another form of wellness", this region being known for healing baths and wellness resorts.

Here we play with the therapeutic benefits of 'Kneipp kur'- a form of preventive remedying through often extreme endurance - and the idea of 'safety' ; Preventive and preemptive surveillance as deterrent - a measure of 'safeness' in society.

We also acknowledge the 'art institution' - here an exhibition curated around globalization and the G8, and the experience of viewing: Art as therapy. Good for guilt and soul.

Finally, in the context of the g-8 and protest, the exhibition site itself is perceived as 'safe' - safe for the local Rostocker who shut shop and business for fear of vandalism, 'safe' for the protester and 'safe' for the State.

Technical notes:
4 cheap surveillance camera. One generic CCTV video splitter. (4 inputs)
Laptop. Custom software.
TV monitors/beamer.
400 metres of Coax Cable.

Shaina Anand and Ashok Sukumaran with Kein.TV June 07.

View related CCTV architecture: May 2007. Berlin.