Plants at the corner of the room is arguably the commonest home decoration, which silently accompanies their owner day by day. As common sense, they do not have any visual sensation and consciousness. Therefore, they will not react to the behavior of their owners. Sometimes, the idea may dawn upon us that “Do plants really not see the surrounding things?”, but it is just a thought flashing in the mind. Sometimes, we may find, in some unreliable papers, discussions about plants having visual sensation and consciousness. However, the true reason behind plants putting people off their guard is that they will not react to human behaviors. Except for the Mimosa that will fold its foliage when touched and the Nepenthes that closes its “cover”, plants simply stand there, indifferent to what is going on its their surroundings. As such, people tend to think of plants will never be a threaten of our privacy.
Similar to plants, surveillance cameras distributed in our living environments never respond to what they see. Like plants, cameras can neither talk nor walk; they cannot jump from the roadside and yell you what mistake you are making now. What a surveillance camera can do at its best is, rotate up and down or left and right from the Pan & Tilt, while this action is not easily perceptible to most people. For general public, these surveillance cameras are simply very insignificant details in the cityscape, just like plants in a room or street corner. Different from plants that have no central nervous system to react, however, those cameras have surveillance system staffs behind who respond to people’s behavior. Plants will not be judgmental or sardonic on your privacy and spread it all over the Internet, yet the surveillance system only “promises” you that they will not do this. As for those who are monitored, this “promise” is almost not fulfilling at all. Besides, the connection between surveillance cameras and the staffs behind is invisible. People alertness toward surveillance cameras is not as high as that toward sentinels actually standing there. But the fact that, with the aid of technology, surveillance cameras can see much more details than human eyes can.
In this work, like a houseplant, surveillance cameras were grown into a Pot; empowered with consciousness and having a capable of connecting to the unknown realm, the houseplant unknowingly goes beyond its property as no harmful plants. I want people think through this work from both physical way and conceptual way. The Houseplant #1, my first installation work, is an extension of the photography series Overseers, and is also a further experiment about practicing art in the 3D world. Inevitably, such questions need to be asked: Does technologies have some unpredictable dangers hidden behind them while providing conveniences to our life? With “sky net” consciously or unconsciously permeating every corner of the city, how will this affect our lives for the moment and in the future?
在房间的一角摆放一盆植物是再常见不过的家居布置了。植物静悄悄地陪伴主人日出日落。人们的普遍认知中,植物并不具有视觉和意识。它们不会对主人的行为进行任何反馈。有时我们偶然产生“难道植物真的看不到周围的事物吗?”的想法也只会飞快的从脑中掠过一下而已。偶尔还会从一些不可靠的小报中找到一些关于发现植物具有意识的奇谈怪论。但真正让人对植物完全放松警惕的根本原因在于植物几乎不会对人的行为做出任何反馈。除了含羞草被碰到会收起叶片,猪笼草会开关它的“盖子”以外,植物只会站在那里对周围发生的一切摆出一副无所谓的样子。因此让人产生了一种“既然你看了以后也不会怎样,那么索性就在这看吧”的态度。
和植物类似,遍布于我们生活环境中的监控摄像头也无法对其观察到的事物做出反馈。摄像头和植物一样不能说话和走路,不能从路边跳出来告诉你此刻你正在犯什么错误。摄像头最大限度的运动也不过是通过云台来转动镜头所对的位置,且这种动作不易被一般人察觉。对于绝大多数人而言,这些摄像头只不过是城市风景中一个非常微小的细节,如同房间角落的盆栽。但与没有中枢神经无法表达的植物不同,摄像头背后的监控者可以对人们的行为做出反馈。植物不会对你不雅观某个时刻和生活习惯评头论足,并传播到整个网络。而监控系统则对你“许诺”它们不会这么做。而作为被监控者,对这种许诺的实践则几乎没有任何约束力。我们也看到了很多类似失职的监控者的事例能够证明除了事后补救外几乎没有任何办法避免其发生。另外,监控摄像头与幕后监控者视线之间的联系,被各种主观和客观因素淡化了。人们对监控摄像头的警觉程度,远没有实际站在那里的活人高。但是借助技术,监控器甚至要比人看得更多更细。
在这件作品中,我把监控器像植物那样种植成盆栽,使这盆植物以一种具有感知,并且与未知领域相连接的生命状态存在,悄然地打破了植物安全的属性。我通过作品意图设置两个思考方向。第一个方向是植物和监控摄像头之间的相似性(形态,在环境中所处的位置,以及都易被人从环境中忽略)。第二个方向则试图探究两种类似事物合并之后引发对环境与隐私方面的思考。 小型装置艺术 Houseplant #1 是我系列摄影作品 Overseers 的延伸,也是将艺术实践带入现实世界的进一步实验。在科技给生活带来便捷的同时,是否隐藏着不可预知的诡计?城市里的各种有意无意的监控网络的渗透,在当下和未来究竟会如何影响我们的生活?
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