Surveillance is Everything

Metal Eye  by Chris "Daze" Ellis. Photo by Luna Park.

Metal Eye by Chris "Daze" Ellis. Photo by Luna Park.

At first, we thought that Chris "Daze" Ellis to participate in Art in Ad Places would be exciting because it would be a tie to historic New York City subway graffiti, but his poster, Metal Eye, also turned out to reference the (likely) future of NYC public space.

He told us:

"On a day to day basis we are all inundated with an endless stream of advertising. Every space seems to be utilized to see or promote something. Many times this creates a state of sensory overload. It's like several people screaming for your attention at the same time. I enjoyed participating in this project because it gave me the opportunity to invade a space that normally would be devoted to advertising. The image of the metallic 'Eye' is perfect in today's society where surveillance is everything."

We couldn't agree more. And, as more and more phone booths are replaced by LinkNYC towers (eventually, they will all be, that's why the folks behind LinkNYC also manage the payphone infrastructure), that urban surveillance is only increasing, and getting more deeply tethered to our consumption of advertising. The folks at Rethink LinkNYC want us to better understand what these towers are bringing: Advertising, microphones, bluetooth beacons, and video cameras, all for the benefit of Google. What do we get in exchange? Free wifi, for those who choose to use it. Because, apparently, NYC doesn't have enough coffee shops with free wifi. Let's press pause on LinkNYC, at the very least, before this new surveillance system is everywhere. And check out Rethink LinkNYC for more.

And yes, we still got a photo with a train in the background. Had to.

Metal Eye  by Chris "Daze" Ellis. Photo by Luna Park.

Metal Eye by Chris "Daze" Ellis. Photo by Luna Park.