Street art puts lens on surveillance

Today three University of Technology students took to Sydney streets and built art installations at the base of CCTV cameras to increase public awareness about government surveillance of citizens.

Today three University of Technology students took to Sydney streets and built art installations at the base of CCTV cameras to increase public awareness about government surveillance of citizens.

UTS students as part of an art installation

Ano, left, and Muscardo are part of their art installation on Sydney's George Street. (Credit: Darren Pauli/ZDNet Australia)

Video surveillance is an integral part of government efforts to secure public spaces. Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are growing in number and are becoming more powerful, thanks to higher resolutions and technology developments that allow advanced biometric controls such as facial and behavioural recognition to run behind the systems.

But not everyone is aware of the capabilities or prevalence of surveillance, a fact that has made many privacy advocates jittery.

It is this lack of knowledge that UTS students Audrey Ano, Claudia Muscardo and Stephanie Shehata have attempted to address. They have spread bubble wrap and tape bearing the word "caution" around CCTV cameras in Sydney's CBD.

The installations are part of a project for their interior design course, dubbed "beauty and the beast". They chose the surveillance system to represent the "beast".

"We want the public to be informed about the surveillance in operation," Muscardo said.

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