Bird’s Eye View

Abstract: This project is an interactive installation, with a camera that pivots to avoid capturing people in the frame. “Bird’s Eye View;” explores the relationship between surveillance and our sense of security.

bird's eye view;
bird’s eye view;

My work is suggestive towards an all-seeing eye of the government. With security cameras hidden in plain-sight and drones watching down on us like a hawk from afar, this piece of art takes a different approach. Unlike those methods that sneak and sneer towards those masses unaware of their presence, my work shows itself in a highly-obvious format. Stepping into the realm of this mechatronic creation brings life to it’s senses, as it flares its capturing eye towards your direction. While this mechanized creature watches you, a sense of awareness is evoked. As though put into the spotlight, the audience becomes part of the output as they are integrated into the projection.

Distortion of presence and identity are captured through an overlay of video feeds from a top-down field of view that tracks motion, and frontal view photos (from the surveying figure). Presented as a real-time compilation of past and present experiences, the creature casts its “memories” through projections that the audience can glimpse upon at 10 pictures per second. As these photos flash across the room at 100 millisecond intervals, the audience becomes part of the installation. This work hopes to bring awareness to the possibilities of mass surveillance and bring discussion about our rights of privacy.


This project utilizes: two networked mac-minis, two cameras, a servo motor, a projector, a pedestal, the housing for the electronic components, and programming through Cycling74’s Max/Jitter environment. For setup, I attached one Mac-Mini and one camera to the ceiling, tracking motion within the space. Through UDP (user datagram protocol) networking, data was sent to the second Mac-Mini to process the motor rotation and frontal-camera function of the unit.