ACCESS is an interactive art installation that lets web users track anonymous individuals in public places, by pursuing them with a robotic spotlight and an acoustic beam system. The work is about our obsession with surveillance, control, visibility, and celebrity.
ACCESS is a public art installation that applies web, computer, sound and lighting technologies in which web users track individuals in public spaces with a unique robotic spotlight and acoustic beam system. The robotic spotlight automatically follows the tracked individuals while the acoustic beam projects audio that only they can hear. The tracked individuals do not know who is tracking them or why they are being tracked, nor are they aware of being the only persons among the public hearing the sound. The web users do not know that their actions trigger sound towards the target. In effect, both the tracker and the tracked are in a paradoxical communication loop.
The content of ACCESS calls for awareness of the implications of surveillance, detection, celebrity, self-promotion, and their impact on society. The structure of ACCESS is intentionally ambiguous, revealing the obsession/fascination for control, visibility, and vigilance: scary or fun. ACCESS was primarily influenced by the beauty of the surveillance representations (x-rayed bodies, luggage or vehicles, 3D laser scans, satellite reconnaissance imagery, etc.), the invisibility of the collected data, and the power generated by means of surveillance practices.
Ars Electronica 2003
ZKM interview 2005
Recent raw video recordings
Z33 – House for Contemporary Art, Hasselt, Belgium, 2011