Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I think one of the most interesting things pertaining to the idea of Surveillance and privacy is how much the average person is watched everyday. For example in London, there are 1.5 million surveillance cameras watching the general public. That's one for every 14 people. Government officials say that the cameras exist to reduce crime rates and terrorist attacks, however, only 3% of crimes are ever solved using the government surveillance cameras.
Camille Utterback's piece, Abundance, uses cameras and animations to tackle the idea of surveillance. Utterback transforms a city block into a virtually animated map. Cameras track city pedestrians and their path is animated an then projected on to a building. Individuals were portrayed in cool colors and when a group of two or more formed the paths would become warm colored.Also, indiviual paths would erase the animation's background where as the path of a group would fill it in. Furthermore, over time, Utterback started to add graphic elements to the animation that would effect the path of the pedistrans. "white lines were added to the projection which align with slats in the building facade. As participants cross these lines, moon-shaped graphics are released and travel in a trajectory opposite the person’s movement. These flickering nodes become active elements of the composition – releasing further bursts of color when another person moves across them" (www.camilleutterback.com).

There is a hue difference between the surveillance camera in London and Utterback's Abundance. The cameras in London act as an eye for the government and for the apparent safety of the people, while abundance helps the give the people of San Jose a feeling of "ownership of a public space" (camilleutterback.com).


  1. Excellent research -- nice presentation. Can you please write your Generative Topic for us, hopefully in a single sentence or question.

  2. I am sorry I was unable to get back to the city in time to meet, organize, and present with you guys. The situation was beyond my control. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, in the woods, with a broken car, no food, no internet, and no signal on my cell phone to call for help. It sucked. But at least I had all that time to completely unpack. I heard the presentation went very well, and I like that you put so much info in your blog so I can get a feel for what you said in class. Only 3% of crimes are solved with surveillance cameras??? What a waste of privacy. If Jen makes me present alone, I hope I will be good enough and not too off topic from you guys. Good job!