One Must Imagine the Camera Rolling (2023)

Bachelor Thesis Publication
12x18cm, open-page 4:3 ratio, 69p. + poster and epistle insert

OMITCR is my bachelor thesis from the ArtScience Interfaculty. An artistic research into surveillance cameras, its proto-forms and roots in religion, and a presentation of a few methods I developed over the years to interact with these actors. The publication includes a cover/poster, an insert containing epistles (letters) to surveillance cameras and its physical format is inspired by the analog video frame format, the squared 4:3 ratio. The publication is a collaboration between me and brazilian artist and graphic designer Lara Santos, to whom I owe so much in the material research of this project.

In this research I probe the insides of the camera as a surveillant apparatus. I argue that a camera is not a passive object but rather an entity with agency in space. Questions will come up such as what is the existential condition of the camera? Has it seen too much? How does it feel to roll for eternity in hopes of witnessing an event which might take place over a single frame? Is this obsessive drive materialized as a black dome in a state of despair or bliss? What will be the view from the end of times when the last camera stands still? If the eye-lens is a mediator between exterior and interior and it has agency in our imaging of reality, but cameras and computer vision don’t really sense in images, what are we gazing at and what are they gazing at?

We will get started by coming up with definitions, dissecting the camera apparatus, addressing its correlations with our eyes, tracing a paralel between surveillance and religion in chapter 1. Chapter 2 sharpens the foreground with New Materialist and Media Archeological lens – a sort of macro into its circuits and raw materials. Rotating the focus ring to chapter 3, our eyes turn to a collection of letters addressed to different surveillance cameras I have encountered. Chapter 4 removes its lens, the camera laid bare to a high-powered laser as a novel practice of intra-action. A telescope lens is then attached to the camera in Chapter 5, and we’ll look far into the edges of our time. Finally, a global shutter attemps to scan the whole image with concluding remarks, and fails.

If you would like a physical copy, please get in touch!
A digital version is available here.
Graphic design, printing and binding: Lara Santos


Further documentation