Monday, 16 February 2009
In Jill Magid’s “One Cycle of Memory in the City of L“, the artist contacts and becomes friends with the public surveillance camera (CCTV) operators for the city of Liverpool. They guide her over cell phone as she moves through the city, readily visible by the distinctive red trench coat that she wears. At one point in the video, the artist walks with her eyes closed through the city streets, and the CCTV operators steer her away from collisions with pedestrians and other obstacles. At the conclusion of the project, the surveillance cameras follow Magid as she is picked up on the back of a motorcycle to depart for the airport. The cameras follow her red trench coat as the motorcycle weaves in and out of traffic until she disappears out of range.
To obtain the video, the artist fills out 31 separate Subject Access Request forms, and compiles the footage into a video installation. The videos are projected on multiple screens while the viewer sits in desk chairs amid bulky filing cabinets, placed in the role of the surveillance operators.