In Touch

Unsecured webcam feeds, sound, custom software
<i>In Touch</i> (2019). Installation view. <a href= target=_blank>Border Control</a>, Stamps Gallery at the University of Michigan</a>, Ann Arbor, MI, US. 2019.
In Touch (2019). Installation view. Border Control, Stamps Gallery at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, US. 2019.

In Touch streams real-time footage from randomly chosen CCTV cameras around the world, paired with an experimental composition using audio datasets. The cameras do not have password protection and are therefore visible to anyone through public IP addresses, though it is unclear how many of the cameras’ owners know their footage is unsecured. Scenes range from workplaces to industrial sites to recreation areas, representing the places we collectively deem threatening or valuable. Many include people coming and going, seemingly unaware they are being surveilled or that the footage is publicly available.

The aggregated streams appear unsettling at times, meditative in others. They offer an unpredictable glimpse into spaces the viewer may never personally visit, where distant others lead full and unknowable lives made briefly visible. Because the footage is live, each moment of the piece is unique and fleeting – depicting an organic world perpetually in motion, where it is always daytime and nighttime, where human activity and economic industry continue without cease.

Society has evolved to a networked culture where every corner of the world is accessible through the Internet yet still physically remote. In Touch explores what this digitally-facilitated connectivity offers on a human level, including the accumulated vulnerabilities of powerful technologies as implemented by fallible individuals and the possibilities versus limitations of digital access.

In Touch (2019). Video excerpt.