We Were Never There: CCTV Landscapes 2020-24

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Yokohama Japan
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Oslo Norway
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26b Diptych. Kollmitzberg Austria IMG 1785
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Stitna nad Vlari Popov Czechia
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Tokyo Japan
Osaka Japan
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Landeck Austria
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‘Mexicali, Mexico’,
‘Doylestown, USA’,
‘New York, USA’,
‘The Panama Canal, Panama City, Panama’,
‘Yokohama, Japan’,
‘Izumo, Japan’,
‘Diptych: Fairbanks, Alaska, USA’,
‘Diptych: Fairbanks, Alaska, USA’,
‘Vilhelmina, Sweden’,
‘Vresina, Czechia’,
‘Boyne Falls, USA’,
‘Oslo, Norway’,
‘Teberda, Karachaevo-Cherkesia, Russia’,
‘Shinjuku, Japan’,
‘Newport, Rhode Island, USA’,
‘Panama City Beach, Florida, USA’,
‘Kita, Osaka, Japan’,
‘Burnaby, Canada’,
‘Buberget, Sweden’,
‘Vershina Tei, Russia’,
‘Grangeville, Idaho, USA’,
‘Bern, Switzerland’,
‘Prestice, Czech Republic’,
‘Diptych: Bergenz, Austria’,
‘Diptych: Bergenz, Austria’,
‘Lungern, Switzerland’,
‘Alkmaar, Netherlands’,
‘Greenwich, Connecticut, USA’,
‘Noiraigue, Switzerland’,
‘Marpingen I, Germany’,
‘Autrans-Méaudre en Vercors, France’,
‘Livonia, USA’,
‘Diptych: Hansen Butte, Idaho, USA’,
‘Diptych: Hansen Butte, Idaho, USA’,
‘Diptych: Kollmitzberg, Austria’,
‘Diptych: Kollmitzberg, Austria’,
‘Marpingen II, Germany’,
‘Stitna nad Vlari-Popov, Czechia’,
‘Frankfurt, Germany’,
‘Toronto, Canada’,
‘Chiisagata, Japan’,
‘Jackson, USA’,
‘Stein, Switzerland’,
‘Olten, Switzerland’,
‘Tokyo, Japan’,
‘Salzburg, Austria’,
‘Osaka, Japan’,
‘Vence, France’,
‘Bridgeport, USA’,
‘Mitsuke, Japan’,
‘Martinroda, Germany’,
‘Christianfeld, Denmark’,
‘Langenschachen, Switzerland’,
‘Bay City, USA’,
‘Sunndalsøra, Norway’,
‘Mesoraca, Italy’,
‘Tsunami, Japan’,
‘Landeck, Austria’,
‘Pieterlen, Switzerland’,
‘Tokyo, Japan’,

We Were Never There: CCTV Landscapes 2020-24

We Were Never There:  CCTV Landscapes 2020-24 

‘She didn’t know the meaning of the feed but took it as an act of floating poetry’.  Don DeLillo, The Body Artist

During the first lockdown of the Covid Pandemic, under the restrictions on movement, I found that I could escape and transverse the world, sometimes in real time, through CCTV apps downloaded onto my iPhone.  

Scrolling through endless, what were often, live feeds, I became a voyeuristic observer of unremarkable silent worlds.  The placement of the cameras, through purely objective surveillance requirements, unintentionally recorded fleeting moments which would normally pass unnoticed and unrecorded.  These transient images are in many ways the natural embodiment of Walter Benjamin’s The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, in the erosion of a legitimate artistic encounter and experience.  This however, feels like a redundant argument in the worlds of post-photography, surveillance and AI.  And each time I filed my way through countless feeds I would, now and again, encounter images of ‘floating poetry’.

Mark Edwards