Title: I’m Hacked A Tale of Two Towns
loosely > Jeroen Zwaap

I'm Hacked.

The world is cinematic.

I have lost touch with it.

I witness the world through the Internet now.

The Internet is my retina.

I watch without being seen.

I witness but will not be seen.

You allow me to.

I watch you foraging. I watch your interactions.

I watch you loving. I watch your boredom.

I watch you move through a space

I am no part of.

I watch your pets, food, homes, gardens, shops, restaurants, cars and streets.

I am reaching the capillaries of your societies.

Don't you feel my presence?

Sometimes I think you do. I wish.

The world is cinematic.

I long for it.

I'm Hacked.

In the realization of this project, I often felt like a sleepwalker, dreaming from one webcam to the other. Many times, I found myself in a private cinema, watching a Lynchian movie through the detached retina of webcams and CCTV. Only this film set, this stage, was the real world. A world that is at an inflection point. For good, for bad? Nobody knows.

As an artist, I try to understand the world through creating. And as a voyeur, I am fascinated with the hidden structures of society. It was from this perspective I wished to permeate into the day-to-day life of two of the main characters of the movie-that-is-our-world. On the one hand -behind the Digital Iron Curtain of- Xi Jinping’s China and on the other post-Trump USA. I roamed the webcams (like a digital Columbus, my mentor once described) of two average cities, capturing a day in their life. When I compared the material, I found that these nemeses and seemingly opposites have as much in common as they differ. What role the webcam plays reveals a diverging understanding of the private and public sphere. Also, the different roles of religion, work, recreation, the state of technology, and awareness of surveillance are subtle but noticeable. But in this project, I not only explored the webcam as a photographic and cinematic medium, but I also had to deal with the ethical complications of the expansion of surveillance and the accessibility through the internet, and the growing dissymmetry of power between those who watch and those who are being watched. In my research, I have concluded that surveillance is impacting our behavior in both public and private spheres. What this means in the long run, we can only guess.

Intro video (text)

As presented live

I’m Hacked