The Birds Eye Project

An institutional critique responding to the surrounding environment of Chicago surveillance.

Who is behind the camera? Chicago has added 500 security cameras since 2011, and now has a "federated system" of 25,000 cameras citywide. For every one private camera linked with the system, there are 70 public cameras. These systems have grown considerably in recent years. As of 2014 Chicago is now known to be the most surveilled city within the United States. Can the idea of security be more important than privacy in Chicago?

January 1st, through December 31st 2013, Jazmin conducted a 365-day surveillance photo project where she devised a ritual of seeking out public surveillance cameras on a daily basis and photographing a different watchful eye every day for a year. The act of photographing the cameras is an act of addressing the voyeur, and temporarily removing its power. Some of the cameras are in plain sight and some are strategically hidden, but all of them are semi-spherical, sleek, menacing machines that seem to potentially violate as much as they protect.