Ever feel like you’re being watched? The panoptICONS project aims to remind you that quite often you are. They placed birds across the Dutch city of Utrecht, only these birds had surveillance CCTV cameras instead of heads in order to spy on everything around them. Created by Thomas voor ‘t Hekke and Bas van Oerle (who work together under the name ‘Helden’), “panoptICONS addresses the fact that you are constantly being watched by surveillance cameras in city centres. The surveillance camera seems to have become a real pest that feeds on our privacy. To represent this, camera birds – city birds with cameras instead of heads – were placed throughout the city centre of Utrecht where they feed on our presence. In addition, a camera bird in captivity was displayed to show the feeding process and to make the everyday breach of our privacy more personal and tangible.” Featuring music by the always awesome Amon Tobin (the track “Easy Muffin”), this is one of the coolest projects in recent memory that reminds us all of our shrinking civil liberties. Nice one, Helden.

panoptICONS Utrecht 2010 from Helden on Vimeo.

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