Using public web cams in art


Artists that have worked with web cameras:

Screening Reality by Pierre Derks, 2013



Derks has went through over 8000 unprotected IP cams, made a selection, organised them by thematically, put them together with text from tweets or a news ticker (somewhat automatically and randomly generated?) and viewed the footage at the LhGWR Gallery in The Hague.

In his piece Derks focuses on the social aspects, the material he uses is very private sometimes yet public. Will we ever get used to the idea that we are being filmed? I’m curious about how this can affect our lifestyle and ways of expression. Will we become anonymous in the public “real” world and express ourselves on the web where we are in more control? Or is the internet an even more insecure place to be?

Linz Diary by Emily Jacir, 2003

Exhibition Europa at Whitechapel Gallery press release says:

linz diary (2003), is a performance by Jacir captured by one of the city’s live webcams that photographed the artist as she posed by a fountain in a public square in Linz, Austria, at 6pm everyday, over 26 days. During the performance Jacir would send the captured webcam photo of herself to her email list along with a small diary entry.

Jacir is using the public webcam to simply record herself. She is rather than hiding from the camera, posing in front of it.

9 eyes by Jon Rafman, ongoing

In 9 eyes Jon Rafman is collecting moments caught on Google earth. Thus he is using the public cameras to collect material.

When I was sixteen I left Stockholm to study one year in France. This was for me before Instagram and Snapchat that I would later rely on providing me live images from wherever my friends where. That’s when I discovered the public web cameras around the world. I started to browse footage from Stockholm but soon moved to NYC, Mecka, Sydney etc.

I am interested in the possibilities of web cameras. How a direct view of the world can help you connect mentally to other places that you are actually affecting from a distance by being part of a globalised world.


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