>>> very closed circuit TV (vcctv) - terminals for self-surveillance
video surveillance, time delay, distortion, appropriation, interactive installation

Video surveillance systems, seen from a social as well as technical viewpoint, are complex information environments.

In my research into video surveillance through a variety of sources - camera manufacturers, security services, anti-surveillance groups and different security authorities (NSA, CIA, MI5, StaSi, BND, ...) - I learnt a lot about the workings of security- and surveillance systems. The main effect they have on the public space seems to come from their pure existence - and questions seems to be more about the 'feeling of security' than 'real security'. In surveys, people claimed to feel safer with video surveillance - without knowing whether or where the surveillance cameras were placed. Statistics and studies on the other hand show that cctv-systems can't really help neither against crime nor against the fear of crime. Instead, only so-called 'illegal actions' and 'inappropriate behaviour' may be decreased with the help of cctv-systems.

Technically, the systems involve:
.sensors: reacting to movement and/or sound, activating / triggering the system
.cameras: collecting visual information about 'activities' in a certain time and space
.monitors: as an output device, combining signals, pictures and sound for further interpretation
.video loops: storing / saving the collected material for later use (if needed)

My approach was to make an interactive installation which quotes different aspects of video surveillance in public spaces, plays with them, underlines and bends them and makes them obvious and absurd. The user of the v.c.c.T.V. is watched while watching others. But just like in 'real' cctv-systems, the picture is in first place not seen by any human, but kept by the system for later usage. When shown, the picture is then distorted by the movements of the watching user. A blurred field is added to the picture
- the 'suspect' on the screen is 'anonymized' by the user's movements in front of the camera. In a later edition, the stand-alone-box will be connected to other indentical boxes via ftp or tcp/ip. Additionally, the box will monitor, record, store, distort and display not only pictures but also sound.

>>> Team: Till Bortels