Always Seeing, Always Watching

There is no escaping the eye of the camera, omniscient eyes staring you down when least expected. Those unblinking eyes are everywhere in Washington, they never miss a thing, but here they are on the roof of the California Academy of the Sciences in San Francisco’s foggy Golden Gate Park. Does it even occur to the casual roof strollers there are mechanical eyes staring them down? Are we numb to being watched? Those unblinking eyes are so perfectly woven into our everyday lives they barely attract our attention.

As a response, I aim my lens at their lens. I watch right back. I stare their lens down with my own. I can see, capture, document and archive that watchful eye in my own indexical, repository of images and words. Yes, the captured can capture right back and transform the act of surveillance into a two-way interaction. I watch them watching me.

That is the power of media in the hands of the individual.