World Sousveillance Day:
The shot seen around the world

At noon on Tuesday, December 24, 2002, ordinary people all over the world will call into question the growing and dehumanizing effects of increased video surveillance, automated face recognition, and Covernment (Corporate+Government) tracking in public places, as well as private places.

Often Covernment officials that use video surveillance try to prohibit others from taking pictures or video within their establishments or regimes, but on this day, many people will photograph these officials, their establishments, and their security systems.

As high noon sweeps past various time zones, the shot heard around the world will be that of clicking cameras.

Rather than protesting by carrying signs, or by marching, citizens will protest by going on shooting sprees. Armed with their own photographic or videographic cameras and recording devices, ordinary citizens will dish out some accountability.

How can I participate?

All you need to do is bring a camera --- any camera (even a fake or broken camera, or one with an empty film magazine) --- to a place where video surveillance is used.

How will I know who I should shoot?

Taking pictures of the surveillance cameras will cause models to appear very quickly for you to photograph. When you point your camera at their cameras, the officials watching their television monitors will very quickly dispatch the models for you to shoot. This is a universal phenomenon that happens in nearly any large organization where video surveillance is used. Models often carry two--way radios and wear navy blue uniforms with special badges. Most will be eager to pose close to your camera, especially the hand models.

They will reach out to you. They want to get close to you. They will crave the glamour of your camera. They will reach out and touch you, or place their hands over your camera lens so you can get a closup picture of their photogenic fingerprints.

Why December 24th?

This is a day when security forces are very busy watching for shoplifters, and it is also a time when folks are reflecting on the year's activity and it's something to do rather than merely buying something. It's also a time of year when many people go back to their home towns, to visit friends and relatives. For many students, exams are over, but courses start again in January (a good time to show off some great holiday pictures). It's a time to stop spending, and instead to add to the frantic state of panic and start shooting! And WSD is also a satire of the way in which authority has replaced spirituality. As surveillance develops into an omniscient network, that people are willing to praise as their saviour, it may in fact become their slaviour.


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