Watching Windows

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TS 06 Student Work

Project

Watching Windows is a work that explores the lens of computer-mediated surveillance by asking the question, what lies between the eye and the object of surveillance?

Watch the video here!

Setup

The laptop is placed in front of a window.

On the screen is a window with feed from the webcam.

The feed is locally transmitted from the webcam to the laptop via USB.

The webcam looks out of the window.

The window looks out upon the windows of the building opposite it.

Description

Decomposing the windows, there is the screen, the operating system Windows, the window of the program, the video feed, the lens of the webcam, the surveiller's window through which the webcam looks, the window of the surveilled, and the object of surveillance itself. When the project as a whole is put under the surveillance of an audience, additional layers surface. Now the project is embedded within another program window on an operating system projected by a screen. Within this new framework, the original surveiller of the project emerges as yet another lens through which the final object is viewed, guiding the audience through the mouse and its graphical representation of an arrow on the screen. The surveiller becomes the surveilled.

In deconstructing the "windows" through which an object is perceived, these "windows" become objects themselves. Windows exist in two states: active and inactive. An inactive window is transparent and frames a static image. The window becomes active when either it loses its transparency and the layers beneath become obscured or its image becomes animated. In this state, the layers beneath the new window-object cease to exist or become subsidiary as the new window-object is monitored for a return back to its inactive state. However, if all the windows are inactive, then focus drifts between layers, and all the windows are simultaneously objects of surveillance.

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