Screening Surveillance

In all aspects of life, personal information is collected and analyzed by organizations that produce various outcomes—surveillance is not simply good or bad, helpful or harmful, but it is never neutral. These three short films were created to raise awareness about how large organizations use data and how these practices affect life chances and choices. We need to consider these implications, and critically examine the logics and practices within big data systems that underpin, enable, and accelerate surveillance.

These three short films speculating surveillance futures and the effects of deeply embedded and connected surveillant systems on our everyday lives were produced as part of a international multiphase project on Big Data Surveillance, by the Surveillance Studies Centre. Intended as public education tools to spark discussion and extend understandings of surveillance, trust, and privacy in the digital age, each film focuses on a different aspect of big data surveillance and the tensions that manifest when the human is interpreted by the machine.

Each film raises issues in our understandings of trust and surveilled relations:

Click the images below to watch the films...

Blaxites

Blaxites follows the story of a young woman whose celebratory social media post affects her access to vital medication. Her attempts to circumvent the system leads to even more dire consequences.

A Model Employee

In A Model Employee, to keep her day job at a local restaurant, an aspiring DJ has to wear a tracking wristband. As it tracks her life outside of work, she tries to fool the system, but a new device upgrade means trouble.

Frames

In Frames, a smart city tracks and analyzes a woman walking through the city. Things she does are interpreted and logged by the city system, but are they drawing an accurate picture of the woman?