With this work we explore surveillance as something we can all be a part of making as opposed to being the subject of. We investigate the difference between passive and active surveillance by turning the often-foreboding concept of being surveilled into a playful, creative, and collaborative experience. To do this, we create a space for viewers to become collaborators with the surveillance tool and play an active role in the creation of the surveillance data rather than be simply a subject of surveillance.
To expose this concept we mimic a traditionally passive form of surveillance and alter it so that the surveillance is recording the activity of the space. In this way the viewer can become a collaborator with the device, directly affecting the outcome of the surveillance. To do this, we modified a device that the viewer is accustomed to seeing in the gallery space (a chart recorder normally used to collect ambient gallery factors such as humidity and temperature). We hybridized this specialized equipment with sensors most often associated with human input, such as proximity and movement sensors. In this way, we surveill the active space rather than the ambient space, thus, allowing viewers to play and contribute to the surveillance rather than simply be a subject of surveillance. The artwork creates a visual printout, in real time, of the surveilled activities, providing the viewer/participant with immediate visual feedback of their activity in the gallery. This creates a space for the viewer/surveilled-subject to become a participant, working with the artwork to actively alter the "data" being collected, and thus contributing to the artwork itself. Through the cooperation of surveillor and surveilled, the artwork itself creates a new artwork, a visual drawing (printout on a long scroll) representing the activity of the gallery space for the duration of the exhibition.
Come to the Art Gallery of Regina in September/October, 2016, to see this project in the exhibition "Under Surveillance."