Sunday, December 19, 2004

Surveillance Camera Players

New York's Surveillance Camera Players have been performing in front of the city's often invisible security cameras since November 1996. There is a Swedish group as well. As I am currently writing an essay on disiplinary gaze in 18th century literature I have been thinking a lot about how we watch and 'read' each other. Behavior is clearly codified and has a range of signified meanings attached to it. We subscribe to certain looks to send certain messages, or to obtain the understandings about us we want from others, or to disguise our inner texts. Behaviors are read via the images supplied by these cameras and judged by their operators according to codes established over time. Transvestism was once a dangerous sign, now in many countries it is not so. However, characture and ridicule of political leaders has long been a dangerous sign system.

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