(In) Security Camera, 2003
Ben Chang, Silvia Ruzanka and Dmitry Strakovsky are media artists whose collaborative and individual work explores the intersections of technology with everyday life through videos, installations and performances. Dima is a faculty member in the School of Art and Visual Studies at the University of Kentucky. Silvia and Ben are faculty members in the Department of the Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
The (In)Security Camera is a robotic surveillance camera with computer-vision software that can follow and zoom in on subjects walking through its field of vision to assess and track threats in real time. This form of mechanical vision is one of the core aspects of our modern surveillance society, from the security systems in our public spaces to the facial recognition software embedded in our online social medias.
However, this camera is insecure. Easily startled by sudden movements, it is shy around strangers and tends to avoid direct eye contact. This reversal of the relationship between the surveillance system and its subjects gives the machine an element of human personality that is in turn endearing, tragic, and slightly disturbing.