Surveillance, especially of public space, is analogous to a one-way mirror: Cameras watch over you and footage is either replayed without your knowledge or stored in a black box as evidence of some yet-to-happen crime. What if surveillance could be a public act, an occasion for interactive reality-meets-art?
Located in the Heyri Art Valley on the heavily guarded border of North Korea, I designed the sound and light of ‘Cloud’ to give the impression that it is somehow alive. Three ethereal canopies respond when approached, reacting dynamically to people’s behavior. Lighting a once neglected pathway, the sculpture invites passerbys to gather, dance, improvise, and even become ‘third’ observers that watch others interacting with the sculpture.
Audience, performer, and surveillance are intertwined into a new public act. Playing with the idea of being watched, an ambient whispering follows you making the once private secrets public. When not responding to people, ‘Cloud’ enhances the ever-changing experience of the weather: detecting temperature, wind, rain, and humidity, the sculpture takes each of these conditions and creates a new link between human and atmosphere through light and sound.