Double-Taker (Snout), surveillance meeting humor and randomness

Golan Levin

Media artist and Associate Professor of Electronic Time-Based Art at Carnegie Mellon University Golan Levin, has created the “Double-Taker (Snout)“, an interactive installation that examines the connections between trans-species eye contact, gestural choreography, subjecthood, and autonomous surveillance. The project consists of an eight-foot (2.5 meter) long robotic arm that resembles a worm-like creature or roving elephant snout that reponds to the presence of people or objects moving through its direct vicinity. The project is perched high on the roof of the entrance to a museum which gets frequent visitors daily so the creature performs “double-takes” at these pedestrians, acting surprised by their presence and attempting to communicate the fact that there is something unique in all of us. Also examing this surveillance culture realm is “RandomMe“, a CCTV randomizer by Dublin-based artist Ben Gaulon. The project consists of a quad image processor that can combine 4 cameras into one image and the software then produces random recordings from these cameras, mixing time stamps and frames from these candid recordings to produce a single channel video piece. Both projects examine the tensions between surveillance culture and the machines and systems that make these systems possible.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen