On tuesday the 25th of June, to celebrate the 110th birthday of George Orwell, surveillance cameras in the center of the city of Utrecht were decorated with colorful party hats!
George Orwell is best known for his book ‘1984’, in which he describes a dystopian future society where the populace is constantly watched by the surveillance state of Big Brother.
By putting these happy party hats on the surveillance cameras we don’t just celebrate Orwell’s birthday. By making these inconspicuous cameras that we ignore in our daily lives catch the eye again we also create awareness of how many cameras really watch us nowadays, and that the surveillance state described by Orwell is getting closer and closer to reality. This was a FRONT404 project. You can find more pictures here.
Get the print here!
Get the print here!
Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and I, working under our new name FRONT404, made an interactive video installation based on railway lost and found departments. We wanted to recreate the feeling of mystery and adventure of the famous old train voyages, like the Orient Express. Using a vintage railway lantern visitors illuminate a lost and found cabinet, searching through the objects within. When discovered these forgotten objects tell stories of their past lives.
The video below shows the installation at Rocket Cinema Festival. Because of the locations of the festival, including the railway museum in Utrecht and the First Class Grand-Café in Amsterdam Central Station, our installation fit in very well with the general atmosphere of Rocket Cinema.
panoptICONS addresses the fact that we are constantly being watched by surveillance cameras in city centres. The surveillance camera seems to have become a real pest that feeds on our privacy. To represent this, camera birds – city birds with cameras instead of heads – were placed throughout the city centre of Utrecht where they feed on the presence of people. In addition, a camera bird in captivity was displayed to show the feeding process and to make the everyday breach of our privacy more personal and tangible.
Made together with Thomas voor ‘t Hekke as our graduation project at Utrecht school of the arts. Also see the panoptICONS website.