Mapping CCTV around Whitehall   Leave a comment

A review in furtherfield.org of a work by Manu Luksch.

“Mapping CCTV around Whitehall”, 2008, is, as its name implies, a performance of mapping Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security cameras around the UK’s parliament in London and a video record of that performance by Ambient.tv’s Manu Luksch.

Starting with a HAL 9000-like image of a CCTV lens, the video of “Mapping CCTV In Whitehall” has a glitchy techno aesthetic of sound and images with a post-MTV-Style Guide reportage feel. The first half consists of a recording of the police stop-and-search interviewing Luksch under anti-terrorism legislation, with a map of the area superimposed.

police stop-and-search interviewing Luksch under anti-terrorism legislation

The area of London that Luksch has mapped is the SOCPA exclusion zone. A map of CCTV cameras is clearly useful to terrorists, and a map of the CCTV cameras near Parliament is clearly an act of dissent against the political consensus that constitutes domestic extremism. The police who interview Luksch touch on these ideas.

the SOCPA exclusion zone

CCTV recordings are subject to the Data Protection Act, and from 2002-2008 Manu Luksch used personal data requests under the act to obtain the CCTV recordings of her going about her business that she used to make the film “Faceless“. The videos usually had other people’s faces blotted out to protect their privacy, which gave the resulting film its science fiction plot of people starting to lose their faces. But as Luksch was making “Faceless“, the responses to her personal data requests became rarer as the authorities adjusted the balance of power back in favour of themselves.

FACELESS by MANU LUKSCH

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Posted July 13, 2012 by artprop in Censored, Under Surveillance

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