“Monitored” is an installation based on the subject of surveillance.
For this project, a seemingly innocuous analog TV sits upon a VCR and DVD player, a setup common in most parents’ or grandparents’ homes. On the TV airs static. The voice of Edward Snowden begins an audio collage of various personalities discussing the realityof U.S. government surveillance: “What would it take for you to leave everything behind?”. Unbeknownst to the viewer (at first), as he watches the TV, a webcam lies hidden inside the VCR, secretly filming him, and, through the use of a micro-computer, sending the image to the internet. The knowledge that he is being watched is revealed to him slowly throughout the video, a menacing “Smile, You’re on Camera” sign appearing through the TV static, until, arriving at the video’s end, the viewer’s live image appears on the screen itself. At the bottom of the frame, a link to a Facebook page directs the viewer to find that not only is the image being broadcast to himself, but also onto a live-streaming event on Facebook.