I visited both London and Malta last fall and got captured by their monitoring culture. Especially in London I saw continuous warnings of cctv monitoring. Fascinated, I thought of documenting this, until I saw an advertisement encouraging the public to tell on any suspicious behavior, including monitoring of the monitoring. This way, even the public’s eyes become cctv cameras and the entire life in the public realm is documented, either on camera or in the collective memory.
I also think of the ever present smartphone camera and their direct connection to the internet. Any public frivolity may be filmed and shared. Meanwhile, the smartphone camera also jumps in where cctv fails. There’s the popular conception that people will film before offering help during a critical situation, but at the same time images of abuse of authoritarian power that the authority would want to obscure also come to surface, because the authority is no longer the only one able to monitor events.
‘CCTV’ is a video-installation showing documentation footage of time and process based installation ‘Weather-play (V is for Väderlek)’, which took place during 19 months, between August 2017 and March 2019.
‘Weather-play’ consisted of volume V of the Nordisk Familjebok encyclopedia, placed on a roof. During its time spent there, I monitored how the book was left at mercy of the elements. The pages shown here are all that could be traced.
CCTV, 2019. Video installation with surveillance monitor and remnants of Nordisk Familjebok V.
Weather-play (V is for Väderlek), 2018. Time/process based installation (duration of 19 months), nordisk Familjebok V (ency clopedia), 25x37 cm.