Open Lenses

Openly available live streaming webcams, usually place promotion cams or traffic cams, are a frequent part of our urban infrastructures. Investigating the boundaries between the ‘physical’ world and its’ ‘virtual’ representation and in the translation from one to the other, what can be revealed or concealed? Through a series of webcam interventions questionable realities are presented. In a video of nondescript traffic cams a world of strange phenomena unfolds.

SEE THE FUTURE: A written response by Barry Kehoe
“The impossible measurement of time becomes central in the work of Aileen Drohan. Her work in the exhibition is developed from performances involving CCTV footage that is streamed and accessible on the internet. By placing herself intentionally in the images she is actively creating a situation that interferes with the automated gathering of observational data. Through the process of making and gathering the records of her interferences she has discovered something peculiar about the spatialisation of time, the scientific recording of time in precise units of measurement. The problem with time is one of relativity. Henri-Louis Bergson (1859 –1941) redefined the modern conceptions of time, space, and causality in his theory of “Duration.” For Bergson, time as it is experienced cannot be measured by science or mathematics. In looking at the experience of time versus the recording of time he states: “We give a mechanical explanation of a fact and then substitute the explanation for the fact itself.” What becomes fascinating in the artist’s photo stills and the systemic recording of the world through surveillance is how it reveals that each camera and data recording device are not synchronized. Each one records time differently with incorrect hours, days, dates. As an attempt at representing reality or recoding a truthful interpretation of the world the system is flawed. In the video work that presents a bank of images from a non-descript set of motorway traffic cameras she has removed the specific data of the time codes, unconcerned in this instance with this documentation, she allows the time-lapse footage to play out, simply revealing a world of strange phenomena. As rain descends and cars drive by during the night only the glow of the lights are visible like spectres moving through the darkness. Silent and eerie this strange behaviour is being recorded and broadcast continually by an automated system. Why and for whom? The CCTV presents an immanence of an ever present, a timeless, ahistorical place where the idea of a future is perhaps unknowable if not impossible. ”
Full article available here

Open Lenses in ‘See the Future’ NCAD Masters Show, Thomas St., Dublin

_DSC4950‘Open Lenses’, Video installation still, 6:39min

_DSC5077‘Open Lenses’, Lambda Print, 23 x 212 cm

_DSC5072‘Open Lenses’, Lambda Print, 23 x 382 cm


































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