English version: marthakicsiny.hu/operativegaze/
Magyar verzió: marthakicsiny.hu/operativtekintet/
Digital video composed for viewing via the internet // Digitális videó, amit az interneten való megtekintésre lett komponálva
The video piece shows a fictional interface of a surveillance agent who writes a report on a person by viewing live CCTV and bug camera footage. The viewers can see the live process of the report being made while the person walks among places, therefore the viewers also become surveyors of the target. Then an error occurs, proposing the possibility to break out of such a system. The spaces visible are all formed by naked human bodies as a symbol of societies based on the exploitation of many for the comfort of the few privileged. Also, it gives a sense of a society where you can never feel alone and unobserved.
The work reflects both on current day surveillance systems and also on the secret police system of the Soviet Block in order to understand the psychological dynamics among surveyor and the surveyed in a society.
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly effected the production, because it would have originally been shot with 40 participants and a crew of 15 members. Due to the lock-down the shoot had to be cancelled leading to me having to radically re-think the project. Under a month I taught myself to 3D model and created a fully digital version of the project.
Regarding the topic, the art work reflects on the surveillance of our current times, of how that creates data on individuals, thereby objectifying them. Now, with the pandemic, countries all around the world are creating systems that heighten the governments’ ability to survey and control with citizens. Therefore questions regarding surveillance is getting even more important. It is vital for citizens to be conscious of the power structures they are part of and to what extent are they being monitored.
The video work also shows an unusual relationship between people, since the person using the spaces is a lonely figure, but the figures forming the architectural spaces create a mass of people, but that type of closeness offers not intimacy, only a loss of dignity and identity. This shines light on the ways that people in different social classes experience space and their distance to others.