Publicity. 2004. {surveillance by Stanza.} (2003)

Publicity is an artwork about the surveillance of public domain space utilzing any CCTV systems in place and manipulating the CCTV feeds. A series of codes manipulated the CCTV of the building and created a new relationship with public domain space.

Full Description


The public are integrated into the data of the artwork so that they become the artwork. In becomes a real time artifact. The work is always changing,never the same again always different forever.

The focus is the live dynamic interpretation of the space and the people both inside and outside. CCTV systems are everywhere in the public domain. We are all actors, bit part actors, in a giant movie called life. Except we cannot watch, it is not on public display and the results are monitored, filtered and distributed without our permission. This artwork puts the public on public display. The surveyed public as everyday actors are displayed using giants screens in public space, ie within the public city. To use the building the networks are part of and re-represent these building. All the imagery from the inside of the building is used to made the outside of the building.

The display device for the networked data infrastructure is the building itself. This work opens out the networks of CCTV and manipulates these images creating new narrative.


In the first version an experimental relay was adapted from the Watersheds CCTV live footage of the general public entering the Watershed gallery. A live internet broadcast on 26.2.2004. This used multiple CCTV cameras output through a composite BNC, and then through an analogue to digital converter. (could be a effects box for future use). The DV out is then input to Quicktime Broadcaster the free software version and out put and served up through Sorenson to the apple quicktime streaming server and unicast over the internet.

An interface software suite allows the images to be mixed a sort of CCTV ming kit. (no longer online in real time but documentation is available)


The software will be customised and built to meet both the specification of the units that are already deployed in a building or more will be brought in to enhance the system and give camera intelligence. The images off the streams are then manipulated. These data streams are distributed to a system where they are processed before being rendered to a screen.

The outcomes are affecting experiences with effected manipulation. With additional modification and the whole system can also be web based to allow real time broadcasting of the results. (as was the first original test to a quicktime streaming server). The opening up of data and information to the public domain is an important part of the work.

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Artist Statement

Installation. Theme: Inside Outside

This artwork questions who owns the data and who is watching us in these spaces. Most buildings have CCTV and they use it to observe the people inside the space, ie the public.By hacking the real time analogue and digital CCTV feeds my aim is to reclaim the data space from private to public domain. All the resulting CCTV network is projected over the building creating new narratives from what is happening inside. It is also presented online by hacking the live CCTV feed.

The outside of the building becomes a huge display system. In essence the outside of the building represents the inside of the building. The space and the physical body is represented as a huge display.

By doing this it also makes the building transparent and opens up the architecture and the networked space.

In this artwork I hacked the CCTV technology in the building to broadcast all the information outside over the internet into the public domain. This makes the building a giant broadcast TV station. The information no longer becomes private, it is opened out, and is not longer privileged, it is transparent. The data although observable by everyone ie, everybody in the whole world is watching you, is also available to be owned by yourself ie, the public. The public are the owners of the data they make. In fact the public are the data inside this space. The body reclaims the data space.

The work 'publicity' is the creation of a sociopolitical cultural artifact, that creates real time images with the systems that are used in everyday surveillance, and any other systems that are in deployed inside the 'public' building. The work fuses the inside space, and the outside of the space, and the real time data of the body and the data of the surrounding environment. This system allows the public to be in and engaged within a 'parallel reality'. This is an observation of the self within the context of the continuous stream of data that surrounds us in this case accessing the buildings own surveillance.

The impressions are not literal interpretations, or snap shots, but fused metaphors,a narrative, creating a unique experience of the place, the space, and the environment. The images are sensory illusions of a data space with the body firmly placed in the centre. They are rendered real time films, ie real time unfolding environments. This is a synchronous unfolding of reality from multiple perspectives. These images unfold as real time impressions of the internalized space.

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