IPcam (2015)
5-channel installation

Ipcam is a mute 5-channel video-loop of screen recordings on online unprotected personal webcams. These recordings are shown on 5 screens that are situated next to each other. They show people in their daily life. Sorting out medicine on the kitchen table, watching TV, sleeping, smoking. Interwoven with these recordings are my personal thoughts and imagined stories about the people who appear on these webcams. In the form of an online diary, as being typed live from another space at the same time, these thoughts and stories appear on different screens during the loop. On one screen a story will appear while at the same time there are 4 other screens showing webcam recordings. This gives the viewer also the freedom to project my ‘stories’ on other people, making them able to craft in a sense their own story as well.

During my research about privacy and the online, I stumbled across different articles about ‘unprotected IP-webcams’. It talked about how people can be spied on through their own webcams they put up, mostly because they didn’t think they would need a password or simply stuck to the standard one. Curious about these webcams I came across a website that has the world biggest directory of online surveillance security cameras. But I also saw that due to an automatic gathering process of these IP-cams also a lot of personal webcams were added to the database. I started bookmarking and following the people I came across, this period would take between 1 day to 3 weeks before the webcams got taken down.

My initial interest in doing this project was to expose the fragility of online-privacy or better said, the non-existence of online privacy. I was interested in what kind of different private situations I could find. But soon enough it became an obsession to follow the people I started viewing. They were puppets in a story I made up, like it was my own directed reality-tv show. It was possible for me to view those webcams at home, in a private space, but making it public also made it uncomfortable, revealing the voyeuristic stimulation private browsing can have. The written stories spark the viewers' curiosity, getting slowly sucked into a voyeuristic position. In this way the work is not only about the public screening of these private events but also about the relationship of the viewer and the viewed.