Work: Omniscient London: Surveillance and The City, 2016, Photographic Prints
The presence of security is never far from the mind of those who inhabit major cities in a world plagued by terrorism. Therefore the thought of being constantly watched by Closed Circuit Television cameras creates a common acceptance within a surveillance society. The embedding of camera within the structure of the city leads to familiarity; capturing every daily action.
Omniscient London is a collaborative photographic project, conducted by Zoey Barton and Scott Perry, focusing on different forms of surveillance that are present and essential to the functioning of a city, such as London. The various forms of surveillance explore within the project range from satellite and drone imagery, watching the city from above, to informal forms of surveillance taking place daily, with citizens watching each other’s actions on the streets of the city. The work exhibited here, explores the repetition of CCTV cameras, recording the actions of those who pass through a given location.
Zoey Barton and Scott Perry came together to create the Omniscient London project in 2016, combining their contrasting interests in photography and photographic processes, challenging their established ways of working with the medium. Zoey Barton works primarily with the photography on the printed page, through magazines and books, enjoying the crisp qualities of perfection offered by the digital image. Whilst Scott Perry works with photography in its analogue form, utilising historic processes and often creating the photographic material himself, rather than relying on the commercially available products in order to produce his work, merging the boundaries between image and subject matter.
Throughout Omniscient London, the two artists explore different applications of camera technologies with the city as tools for surveillance, as well as through their own, combined, working practice. The potential of the photographic process within the project was enhanced by the ability to work with multiple cameras and positions at once, allowing a greater relationship to the way in which surveillance technologies operate within the city. The project focuses on the movement of people, which is a shared interest within the practices of the two artists.