In a two-day field trip to London I observed the presence of surveillance equipment in public spaces and the people walking in front of it. CCTV in London is omnipresent and is not hiding away, instead, it is visible in plain sight. People on the other hand seem to ignore it. However, the moment I put up my own video camera, people started noticing. With many people glancing in my direction, some started talking to me, wondering why I was filming them. Yet, CCTV cameras were just as present.
Talking to people left me with an impression of why they felt uncomfortable being filmed by a person: The person directly confronts them with a camera at eye level; the person has consciousness and intelligence; the person has an unknown agenda and may use the video material for illegal or uncomfortable activities.
It is very interesting that a surveillance system is seen as being dump, although there is people in the background, too. I started wondering how a CCTV systems can provoke similar reactions people showed toward me. With the three aspects in mind I developed a surveillance prototype.