The other day, I happened to notice, not by surprise, this social voyager. I often wonder who may be on the other side of this TV show. Where does the footage go? How often am I the spectacle in someone else eyes? This mundane encounter is so common in everyday city life, that I have become used to it, even when it’s not there I feel it’s there. The Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) is somehow connected to our collective psyche and makes us more vigilant of our behaviour. The fear of the other justifies its presence. According to the BBC the UK has one of the highest number of cameras in the world: between 4 and 5,9 million cameras operate in the country. In a society where spontaneous behaviour seems quite suspicious, we must detect and remove potential enemies of the state. For instance, a guy looking at a child remembering his own childhood is a potential peadophile, someone gazing at my outfit is a potential rapist, friends exchanging phone numbers at the bus stop are potential terrorists. Distrust has not limits, not only the city patiently watches and records its dwellers 24/7, we as individuals, must relentlessly patrol our behaviour in the wake of something unusual. In the tube, the speaker announces, if you see something suspicious report it to the authorities; but who’s the authority ?
Millions of TVs are connected to each other in an endless network of wires and skyscrapers, yet the authority remains invisible. However, a pervasive gaze sets on the streets, so strong that blurs our perception. Before we know it, the authority looks out from within. CCTV cameras hang on the streets but live in our minds.