cd002 (2020)

cctv cameras, steel mobile sculpture, crt tv, steel podium, analog video switchers, contact mics

cd002 sits in a spacious room (to which the piece owes its name), with two freespinning mobiles placed side by side, holding eight surveillance cameras each. Live feed of the cameras are multiplexed into a small CRT tv in the middle of the two structures, on top of a stabile, at eye level. The resulting images craft multiple perspectives in a seemingly steady pattern, but differences in switching speeds and camera angle, influenced by slow air currents and/or audience interaction, enhance complexity. While keeping it playful and accessible, the non-human actors in the piece push the boundaries on what is a cinematic and sculptural experience.

Video and power cables are wrapped around the structures, intensifying their contours like a vine, exposing their profiles, and extending their tendrils to translate the pervasive character of surveillance. The piece also aims to claim the space by revealing and magnifying the office qualities of the room with a dystopian, everpresent entity filling cd002.

Finally, the piece dialogues with Steve Mann’s dichotomy on Surveillance (oversight) and Sousveillance (undersight). Where one could argue that Sousveillance is just as  invasive as Surveillance, Mann posits that we should conform to what he calls the “Veillance Tract”: the democratization and personal right of undersight, allowing for multiple perspectives to be recorded. Thus, where the center of the mobile’s engine relies on balance, multiple cameras gaze at each other whilst monitoring absolutely nothing, watching from above and below in equilibrium.

As the observer experiences the installation in the space, their agency further subverts the role of the surveillance camera - instead of the overwatching panoptic gaze monitoring our actions, the camera itself becomes a gesture in space, observed. Finally, by approaching mobiles as a medium and balance as a tool, a framework for relationality opens up: every choice of lens, camera, and cable influences every other frame angle in the system.

Further documentation