In their series of works titled CCTV – A Trail of Images, the artists known as the !Mediengruppe Bitnik intervene in urban surveillance systems. Using self-made signal receivers, they make hidden video-surveillance signals in the urban space visible to the viewer.
Since 2008, Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo have been taking walks through the landscapes of these invisible cities. Equipped with self-made CCTV video-signal receivers and video recorders, they organize "dérives", or unplanned journeys, in search of hidden and mostly imperceptible surveillance-camera signals in public spaces. Surveillance becomes sousveillance: Their self-constructed tools provide access to the "surveillance from above" by recording and displaying CCTV signals, thus making them both visible and describable. In this way, they make possible a new view of the ever-increasing monitoring of urban space. Simultaneously, they improve our media literacy by providing instructions on how to use commercially available devices to detect surveillance systems.
(Text: Sabine Himmelsbach)
Carmen Weisskopf (*1976), Switzerland, and Domagoj Smoljo (*1979) Croatia, live and work in Zurich and Berlin.
!Mediengruppe Bitnik is composed of the artists Carmen Weisskopf and Domagoj Smoljo, who are assisted by the London filmmaker and researcher Adnan Hadzi and the reporter Daniel Ryser. Weisskopf and Smoljo are contemporary artists who work in and with the Internet. The focus of their art is the digital world and how it alters physical spaces. They deliberately work with the loss of control, in order to question established structures and mechanisms.