‘I Agree’ is an interactive artwork that subverts the aesthetic and function of a CCTV system. A device which looks like an industrial CCTV camera enclosure but handcrafted from wood is attached to a wooden cabinet with a video monitor and crank handle on the front. When the handle is turned the screen and camera are powered on and the participant can be seen on the monitor. The participant is both observer and subject and complicit in the act of surveillance.
The piece raises questions about participatory surveillance in an age of connected technology, where many of us readily volunteer personal data that can be used to track our activities. The UK is one of the most surveilled nations in the world and these forms of monitoring have become commonplace and as such can appear invisible.
‘I Agree’ was funded by Sanctuary, a 24 hour art laboratory in the landscape of the Galloway Forest Dark Skies Park.
Alan Brown is an Edinburgh based visual artist working with audio, moving image and technology. He creates installations and device art which explore themes around communication, control and power. Much of his practice involves modifying existing objects and technology, such as telephones, bank cards and CCTV, to function in altered or unexpected ways, raising questions about how we use technology, exchange information and communicate.