at Isea 2006 in San Jose, California, August 7-13
SIMveillance: San Jose elicits the
viewer’s consideration of a normally fleeting urban phenomenon:
the passage of strangers through a public space. Who are these people
and where are they going? How does their traversal affect one’s
perception of the vitality and nature of a place? This project seeks
to make the viewer more aware of this phenomenon, as transmogrified
when viewed through the lens of a computer game.
By repurposing surveillance footage of a real-world place very close
to where the viewer will be experiencing the work SIMveillance also
asks the viewer to consider the increasing presence of recording
devices within the urban landscape, and the possibility of leaving
traces that linger in unexpected ways.
brings the local urban population back into the show in a unique
way—locals may be able to see themselves as captured in the
prior month. Whether or not a viewer catches a glimpse of his/herself,
s/he is bound to reconsider the impact of wandering the urban landscape.
The project seeks to evoke feelings of curiosity, voyeurism, discomfort,
and a jolt into the perspective more typically inhabited by city
planners or sociologists. The work also explores the territory in
which simulated-avatars co-mingle in the landscape with “the
real” to produce a hybrid community with potentially unexpected