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Sousveillance - the art of inverse surveillance: David Rokeby (CA) & Jakob Jakobsen (DK)Moderator: Christian Ulrik Andersen (DK)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

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Christian Ulrik Andersen - Lecturer

  • Department of Information and Media Studies
  • Center for Digital Urban Living
  • Digital Aesthetics Research Centre

With the growing 
spread of pervasive digital technologies the public urban 
space has become open for new forms of both observation andsurveillance

Moving away from cameras and directional microphones, face- and voice recognition, the pervasive technologies offer not only the ability to gather and organise huge amounts of dissimilar data, but as well on grounds of these to predict probable patterns of behaviour. Commercial mobile variants of Google Maps, YouTube or Facebook are by far the only ones to make use of these possibilities. Urban games, locative art, flashmob art, pervasive games etc. all represent new forms of observational and aesthetic experiments with how we through technology perceive and make use of the urban space itself.

Sousveillance, original French, as well as inverse surveillance are terms coined by Steve Mann (Toronto, Canada) to describe the recording of an activity from the perspective of a participant. "Surveillance" denotes the act of watching from above, whereas "sousveillance" denotes bringing the practice of observation down to human level (ordinary people doing the watching, rather than higher authorities or architectures doing the watching).

The conference will be held in conjunction with two digital art exhibitions in the city of Århus (one at ARoS and another at Skive Art Museum) and aims to create a platform for sharing and discussing the topic of surveillance, privacy and control of information, analyzing different creative, artistic and political strategies to produce fluid zones of interventions, both in the urban space and on the net. Main focus is on networking practices and urban actions that contribute to criticize the concept of surveillance, propriety of data and information, showing new activists and visionary strategies to move society toward more inclusive modes of production and sharing knowledge.

Emneord: surveillance, digital art, interface culture, digital aesthetics, digital urban living
9 Feb 2009

Event (Conference)

TitleSousveillance - the art of inverse surveillance


  • surveillance, digital art, interface culture, digital aesthetics, digital urban living

ID: 15418068