Looking at my project in a bit more depth I feel that just focussing on the fact that there are unsecure CCTV feeds available for people to access is a little boring and has been done before.
Whilst my piece can still comment on this issue I wanted to create a more meaningful dialogue about the themes of CCTV and the notion of mass surveillance.
I found that while looking through hundreds of unsecure feeds to find a theme for my project that a lot of CCTV imagery is not ‘perfect’; Slanted, poorly framed scenes are portrayed in low resolutions forming pixelated landscapes, accented by lens flares, dirty lenses and time based events.
These scenes, in their own right, become interesting subjects themselves.
I want to oppose the notion of mass surveillance by utilising these unique CCTV feeds showing that very few cameras in our day to day lives either work, are as perfect as we think they are or are recording what we think they recording.
I have looked into several ways of grabbing several online CCTV feeds at once in a manner that allows me to manipulate them and display them on multiple screens.
My first idea was to create a stream via VLC media player which could then be fullscreened. However this doesn’t allow much playability and would mean that I would need to use multiple computers to show multiple feeds.
I then thought about trying to syphon VLC into Modul8, a VJ program, which would allow me to play multiple feeds at once and switch between them seamlessly.
Unfortunately VLC does not have this feature.
I then tried to use various Syphon programs which screen captured certain windows. This worked very well however I was unable to open several versions of these programs without them disrupting each other.
My final solution was using the Unity 3D game engine. This has external libraries that support syphon which would allow me to share the feeds with my VJ program.
Some looking through tutorials I found that Unity could only take image streams or a video feed in the ogg format. All my CCTV feeds were in MPEG format so I couldn’t directly scrape the video feed. However some digging around the HTML and source code of the camera feeds led me to find the URL extensions for an API that when refreshed provided the latest image from the camera.
“Channelling Interference is an experimental performance exploring biofeedback and the bodies crude replication and integration into electronic circuits. Using homebuilt amplifiers and electrodes the body is connected into a circuit with cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors. Electrons shot beyond the phosphor coated monitor screen contact the body and create bioelectrical feedback loops within the circuit resulting in distortions of sound and image. The body acts as resistor and antenna controlling electrical flow and channelling electromagnetic energy, such as radio signals. Multiple bodies can be connected to expand the “living” circuit. “