For years, surveillance cameras have been at the center of a political debate here in Italy. As a result of the uncontrolled increase in their use, last December the Italian Commissioner of Privacy, Stefano Rodota, issued a set of rules covering surveillance cameras. In the United States, a country in which video surveillance has reached alarming levels, there's a small group that's fighting back. By performing theatrical plays in front of the cameras, the Surveillance Camera Players have become a sensation.
The group's founder, Bill Brown, says that everywhere you go in Manhattan, there are cameras watching you. He catalogues the cameras, making note of the type of technology employed and the possible identity of their owners. He regularly publishes announcements in The Village Voice about the walking tours he gives based on these maps.
Recently [23-25 May 2001], Bill Brown came to Bologna, on the occasion of the "Digital_is_not_analog" convention. His presentation was enthusiastically received and, then, on Saturday 24 May 2001, he put on a nocturnal performance in the center of Bologna, in a hyper-surveilled zone. Here's our the interview with Bill Brown.
[Written by Mark Deseriis as introduction to interview broadcast by RAI on 22 June 2001. Roughly translated from the Italian by an Internet robot. Translation corrected by Bill Brown.]
Contact the New York Surveillance Camera Players
By e-mail SCP-New York
By snail mail: SCP c/o NOT BORED! POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998