The (in)security camera is a device which combines two often related but opposing ideas: safety and fear. From the perspective of a disembodied observer, the system appears to be normal, a security camera attached to a black and white CRT security monitor. However, when a moving object (such a person) enters the camera’s field of view, the device becomes startled, and hides, lens down, in the corner. So long as someone remains in front of it the camera continues to hide, returning to its normal position only after confirming that the coast is clear.
Conceptually, the (in)security camera explores both ideas of surveillance and ideas of social anxiety or fear of others. Viewed from the perspective of surveillance, the system brings into comparison the roles of observer and the observed and the power disparity inherent in those two roles. The (in)security camera reverses these roles, with the mechanism of surveillance (the camera system) becoming the subject of observation by the public. No different than us at the end, the machine may believe in the need for ever increasing security and surveillance, but at the same time is terribly afraid of having that gaze turned upon itself. In the same act, the monitor creates and records an image which is free from human presence, useless as a record of an event, but perhaps a kind of aesthetic exploration of emptiness or stillness within the crowd.