MANIFESTO FOR CCTV FILMMAKERS
Hotel Intercontinental, Vienna
I’d like to point you to Manu Luksch’s brandnew MANIFESTO FOR CCTV FILMMAKERS (www.ambienttv.net), a Vienna and London based artist, whose sci fi movie ‘FACELESS’ – made from authentic cctv recordings – will be released soon. BTW, who can tell what this really huge CCTV on top of Hotel Intercontinental Vienna is supposed to capture?
THE FILMMAKER AS SYMBIONT:
opportunistic infections of the surveillance apparatus
Filmmakers render aspects of nature, human activity and imagination visible. The documentary film continues to be a potent form in all its variety, from the personal video diary to “objective” fly-on-the wall shoots, to the hybrid fact/fiction (“faction”) film. But the most prolific documentarists are no longer to be found in film schools and TV stations. In some European and American cities, every street corner is under constant surveillance using recording closed-circuit TV (CCTV) cameras. Such cameras are typically operated by local government, police, private security firms, large corporations and small businesses, and private individuals, and may be automatic or controlled (zoomed and panned) from a remote control room. Filmmakers, and in particular documentarists of all flavours, should reflect on this constant gaze. Why bring in additional cameras, when much private and public urban space is already covered from numerous angles?
MANIFESTO FOR CCTV FILMMAKERS declares a set of rules, establishes effective procedures, and identifies further issues for filmmakers using pre-existing CCTV (surveillance) systems as a medium in the UK. The manifesto is constructed with reference to the Data Protection Act 1988 and related privacy legislation that gives the subjects of data records (including CCTV footage) access to copies of the data. The filmmaker’s standard equipment is thus redundant; indeed, its use is prohibited. The manifesto can easily be adapted for different jurisdictions.