Psychogeographers Navigate

New York City's Changing Landscape

[...] The Surveillance Camera Players differ from other surveillance awareness activists such as the Institute for Applied Autonomy in that they not only count and archive the locations of surveillance cameras, they put on plays for them. Regularly performed works include George Orwell's 1984 and Art Toad's God's Eyes Here on Earth (a play written specifically for surveillance cameras used to monitor churches). The group is giving a tour of the city's surveillance cameras as part of "Psy-Geo-Conflux" on Sunday at 2 pm, and though not able to give any figures about how many new cameras are on the streets since 9-11, player Bob [sic] Brown says that post-9-11 buildings tend to be stocked with them. "They have cameras installed on all four sides, so the total for each building is 16 -- or even as many as 20 -- per building," says Brown, adding, "These cameras are relatively well integrated into the facade and are clearly part of the original building design." It's easy to discount the Players' dramatic work as another flaccid conceptual art project until you're in the position of a pedestrian just walking by, whose confusion elegantly lifts upon realizing that the "audience" is a cryptic camera trained on a public space [...]

(Written by Bryan Zimmerman and published in the 7-13 May 2003 issue of The Village Voice.)

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