surveillance cinema (2022)

cctv cameras, crt tvs, algorythmically controlled matrix switcher
Exhibited at Move! x The Grey Space in the Middle and
Kiosk Radio 5YR Anniversary

Image credits: Christian Schwarz, Jente Waerzeggers

Research on networking and multiplexing of live images through algorithmically controlled matrix switchers. Surveillance cameras are spread around in the space and shown in multiple CRT TVs; hard cuts and sequences follow a generative set of rules resulting in a language of expanded and surveillance cinema.

Further documentation

surveillance cinema at MOVE! x grey space

surveillance cinema at kiosk radio 5yr anniversary


5cam_3tv was a small experiment that took place in the corridors behind CAM30, in the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague. Five cameras were multiplexed into three TVs, using a video matrix. The matrix was controlled via a Processing sketch that generated RS232 signals, a serial protocol. With the ability to script commands that direct video signals towards multiple screens, comes the possibility to perform generative video cuts, following random or rule based decisions.

5cam_3tv was the precursor to surveillance cinema.


Metaveillance is an installation piece with 8 CCTV cameras, a switcher and a TV. The cameras are spread around the space, pointing at each other, the tv and the insides of the switcher. The video is a composition in which the bigger frame documents the installation whereas the smaller 4:3 frame captures the switcher output. The work builds upon the concepts of non-human photography (Joanna Zylinska), self-governance (Michel Foucault) and black boxes (Bruno Latour). The work is “directed” by the switcher, which swipes through the sources and overwatches the circuitry, making sure they function accordingly. In the end, a pointless CCTV system emerges with the sole purpose of watching its sub-systems to perform their work.

Metaveillance uses a common surveillance switcher with no serial control, and was a precursor to surveillance cinema as well.