Below are the two videos that complete the viewing experience of our 2009 show. We programmed multiple moments throughout the performance that interact with these camera angles. The first is the on-field camera, and the second from the surveillance tower in the back corner of the floor. Both videos recorded during our prelims show at WGI in Dayton.
Continue reading the posts below for additional videos, photographs, and perspective on themes of surveillance and TCI’s 2009 show, Videotape.
Spend one day finding surveillance cameras every place you go.
School, stores, parking lots, restaurants, road intersections, toll booths, etc.
Since starting meetings about putting the show together, doing this on occasion has (for better or worse) changed my perceptions about some of my favorite places. Comfortability levels have shifted, regardless of what I am actually doing at those locations. There must be even more places where they are watching which haven’t been listed…
A farmer in Virginia had a camera pointed at his property by game wardens, and was convicted of accidental trapping caught on film. This has brought the awareness of surveillance and privacy to even rural areas, where I think most people would much less expect it.
The farmer’s attorney noted on appeal, “As noted by other courts, hidden video surveillance invokes images of the ‘Orwellian state’ and is regarded by society as more egregious than other kinds of intrusions.”
I read an article last summer about a journalist’s experience in Rangoon, Burma (Myanmar). About the military government’s stifling of entertainment industry, and the effect on its people. What stuck with me was the “ghost” presence effect that the government’s surveillance program has created on the streets. Here’s an excerpt:
“In a 1977 book called Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Foucault discussed the social effects of surveillance, using a prison designed by Jeremy Bentham in 1787, called the Panopticon, as a model. The cells are arranged in a circle around a central observation tower, so that one person inside the tower can see into every cell at all times, but the prisoners, while able to see the tower, never really know whether there is a person in there watching them, or not. The observer can see out, but the observed can’t see in.
Hence the major effect of the Panopticon: to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers.
This was why there was no visible military presence in the city. It wasn’t necessary. The people controlled themselves.”
This blog is an online companion to TCI’s 2009 production, Videotape. Members, fans, and anyone can follow along with articles, videos, and other media associated with the TCI’s vision for the show.
The content, however, does not constitute official endorsements of views or opinions on any subject by TCI’s staff, members, endorsers, or its parent company. It is intended for purposes of entertainment, thought-provoking, and exposure to media that may craft the way TCI’s membership performs the show, and the way viewers interpret it.