Total surveillance awareness

Poking the Camera's Eye

Who watches the watchmen? One possible answer: We all should. This answer animates World Sousveillance Day (WSD), which took place on December 24 [2002] [...] On that day, citizens all over the nation [sic] were supposed to approach public surveillance cameras and aim their own cameras back at them [...]

Another group critical of surveillance cameras is the New York-based Surveillance Camera Players (SCP), which raises public awareness by staging guerilla theatrical performances in front of such cameras. But the SCP doesn't buy the notion of "sousveillance." Comments an SCP spokesperson, "The logic of 'shooting back' is faulty. It's like guns: Arming everyone doesn't protect us against the police. We want everyone disarmed, of both their guns and their cameras."

The SCP hasn't been as lucky as Mann was on his WSD excursion this year [during which he was ignored]. Guards at Rockefeller Center once threateningly informed their troupe, "You know, we can watch you everywhere you go." "Precisely the point of our performance," the SCP spokesperson says.

(Written by Brian Doherty and published in Reason 3.03, Volume 34, No. 10.)

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