As part of our final major project at the end of second year, we were asked to create a one minute avant garde film that would be played at tokyo:ocean.
‘I am the camera that is always watching you, wherever you go. I see you but you do not seem to see me.’
As inhabitants of the most surveillance-intensive nation on Earth, where one camera potentially watches every 14 citizens, my film aims to open a debate about how the British public appears to have acquired a complete nonchalance to having their everyday activities recorded on camera. No longer is the presence of the photographer in the street greeted with indignation or even curiosity, instead, he or she is quietly accepted as just another piece of street furniture, existing as part of a greater good on behalf of a vague organisation, commonly known as ‘The Authorities’.
My documentary, filmed on busy streets, compares and contrasts the reactions of people being filmed covertly to those who actually have to walk around a tripod-mounted camera in the middle of the pavement. Has the act of being filmed in the street become accepted as normal? Are they bothered? Have they become immune? These are the sort of questions I want my audience to debate as they leave the screening.
My film, employing techniques such as reverse, slow-motion, disorientation and layering, collectively lift it into another dimension to launch a contrast into a sea of apathy. Are we obediently sleepwalking into the sinister world of George Orwell’s 1984?