Surveillance Chess with 2.4 Ghz
The festival Lichter Streetview transformed the center of Frankfurt into a medial adventure playground on the 22nd and 23rd of March 2013 and presented ten national and international artists and collectives after sunset.
In addition to projections and interactive installations by the artists, !Mediengruppe Bitnik and artist Benjamin Gaulon offered those interested the opportunity to get to know the (anonymous) city space from a different angle by reversing the observer’s perspective in a workshop. Who is watching whom?
In their work Surveillance Chess, !Mediengruppe Bitnik deals with the surveillance of public space. To this end they use a jammer in order to hack into surveillance systems and to manipulate their image production. Instead of the transmitted real-time surveillance images the security personnel will be presented with a friendly invitation: How about a game of chess? Surveillance Chess transforms the monitor in the control room into a video game console and invites the – otherwise invisible and apathetic – guards of the urban playing fields to join the game themselves. Thus, the hierarchies of surveillance are reorganized and reinterpreted as a “friendly takeover”.
In his work 2.4 Ghz Gaulon taps with surprisingly little technical effort wireless security cameras and makes the recordings publicly visible with small monitors.
In his workshop, Gaulon asks the participants to discover the widespread network of surveillance systems in their city. With the same approach that Gaulon uses to realise his work, the participants will detect the signals from the cameras, document and make them visible for the public on Google Map. Three to four people, equipped with one receiver, were on the move in different places in the city.
The action took place from around 8PM to 10PM on both nights.
The artists conducted the field Workshop.
It was free of charge and everybody could participate.