CCTV as an art form

"Before September 11th, I think people would be very offended to think that they could be tracked in a theme park," said Feng Chi Wang, president of MetaSignal Inc. "People are more giving now in terms of their civil liberties." Associated Press, 16 November 2001
"You can make an easy kind of a link that, if you have a protest group protesting a war where the cause that's being fought against is international terrorism, you might have terrorism at that (protest). You can almost argue that a protest against that is a terrorist act." -- Mike Van Winkle, Anti-Terrorism Information Center, California Department of Justice, 2 April 2003

The Surveilance Camera Players are a group of actors and protestors based in New York, opposed to the use of CCTV in public places. The use of such technology is defended by statements like those posted here, but SCP believe this to be an infringement of human rights -- especially as CCTV did nothing to prevent 9/11 and they mistrust a government which has dragged them into a bloody conflict in Iraq, having nothing to do with global terrorism.

This is no one-off protest. Entire plays have been written and adapted purely for performance in front of surveillance cameras. These include the Australian Denis Beaubois's 'In Case of Amnesia the City will Recall', Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven', George Orwell's '1984', as well as SCP's own material such as 'God's Eyes Here on Earth' and 'You are being Watched for Your Own Safety'.

One wonders how this affects security staff, being subjected to so much culture. Tell us what you think of SCP. Is it valid? Has the war on terror become an excuse for governments to limit freedom, or are people like the SCP just a nuisance?

(Written by Steve and published 25 October 2004 by Artists and Makers - Contemporary Arts and Crafts in Sussex.)

Contact the New York Surveillance Camera Players

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By snail mail: SCP c/o NOT BORED! POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998