This Area is Under 23 Hour Video and Audio Surveillance

This area is under 23 hour video and audio surveillance - by Ahmet Ogut.  Photo: Mike Venso

This area is under 23 hour video and audio surveillance – by Ahmet Ogut. Photo: Mike Venso

This intervention by Agmet Ögüt is called This area is under 23 hour video and audio surveillance. For the work, Ögüt took the standard security signage that can be found in parking garages, banks, parks and other public places. He altered one single character, the number four, so that it would read ‘this area is under 23 hour video and audio surveillance’.

Ögüt placed some of these signs in parks and other public places. Passing people mostly didn’t recognize it as an artwork, because of the ready-made format. Usually, they considered it to be a mistake, that there had been some administrative error. One person photographed the work and anonymously posted it to http://www.failblog.org. People commented to the picture, and discussed how or why that sign might have come to be like that. Eventually, someone wrote that the text wasn’t a mistake, but a work of art. All interesting speculation immediately stopped. What is striking here, is that a subtle artwork that is situated in public space, becomes heavily discussed online by viewers that are located everywhere. Online, the work resulted in a dialogue about the city. This dialogue was only possible because of the fact that it was not recognized as art in the first place. The work is tactical, because it operates within an urban public setting, not in a gallery. The work therefore poses interesting questions within the discourses about media studies, but also art theory and even sociology because of the interesting type of public that has emerged because of the work.

 

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