Surveillance Cameras Decorated with Party Hats for George Orwell’s Birthday
Last week marked the 110th birthday of dystopian novelist George Orwell. The author is most famous for his political novel Nineteen Eighty Four which criticised governmental involvement in personal lives.
In celebration of this date and Orwell’s legacy, Dutch duo Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle (who together call themselves FRONT404), marked that date with an impromptu piece of street art as they decorated a number of surveillance cameras with party hats. The tongue in cheek accessorising highlights the ever intruding gaze of modern surveillance technology in our lives. The project aims to raise public awareness of the omnipresence of surveillance by making these inconspicuous cameras stand out.
Thus, rather than the pieces being a celebration of Orwell’s life, they serve as a reminder that some of his greatest fears have not be resolved but rather realised through modern technology.
The artists explain, “By putting these happy party hats on the surveillance cameras, we don’t just celebrate Orwell’s birthday.By making these inconspicuous cameras that we ignore in our daily lives catch the eye again, we also create awareness of how many cameras really watch us nowadays, and that the surveillance state described by Orwell is getting closer and closer to reality”.