Monday, April 09, 2007

Is Big Brother watching me?

Photo from Life on the Edge

I want to introduce you to Mojo, an interactive sculpture that has been put in San Pedro, California, which is the Los Angeles Harbor. Mojo, an interactive robot sculpture that beams a spotlight on people walking by. Mojo is the work of German artist Christian Moeller, whose work is internationally acclaimed.

Is this just a little bit Orwellian? Mojo gets its data from two surveillance cameras that are mounted on the roof of the new Centre Street Lofts, with one bedroom lofts starting at $300K. Now, you have to understand: San Pedro has been Los Angeles' best kept secrets. Lots of artists live here. Housing has been much more affordable than the rest of Los Angeles - it is a lovely community and suddenly it is getting gentrified. As a homeowner, this is good news and bad news to me. But Mojo is a little bit creepy.

"It's not a piece of art that's really resonated with the public or the arts community," said Life on the Edge local blog contributor Marshall Astor, an artist and the visual arts director at Angels Gate Cultural Center in San Pedro. "There's a percentage of people who think it's ridiculous."

Ya think? In our current political environment, I don't see it as ridiculous so much as I see it as an easy tool to just follow people. I can envision Mojo on every street corner. It feels so damn invasive, I can't begin to describe it. On the other hand, I also think it's hilarious. This is what we've come to.


Mariamariacuchita said...

Jood, it may be what it has come down to, but probably not as far as we will go.

London is already covered from center to townedge with surveillance camers. Public places will be the first to get on board with the reason being "crime" or "terrorism" or "safety."

Donnie McDaniel said...

That really is creepy!

Peacechick Mary said...

Ewwww. Maybe it is art in that it sure causes a lot of thought and perhaps wakes people up to what is truly happening. Would it be possible to moon it? We could moon in chorus.

Coffee Messiah said...

If you think about it, most everywhere we go there are hidden cameras. ; (

Frederick said...

Ridiculous? How about monstrous. 1984, here we come.

Tina said...

Hey..... despite it being completely creepy, invasive, and all-out 1984, I want one of these Mojo thingies so I can keep an eye on BabyGirl in one part of the house while I attend to the baby in another part of the house.

sumo said...

Did anyone see the yellow umbrellas that Cristo did in Kern County? It wasn't creepy but a tad odd it was.

Tree said...

Honestly, I find this incredibly unoriginal. Surveilance cameras have been around for a long time now, and were predicted in novels long before that, so to slap this up and call it art is a bit much for me.

DivaJood said...

All ya'll, Tina's got the best use for this thing: Toddler Surveilance. That would really give Moms super powers.

Sumo, Christo owns an early sculpture I did - another artist got it from me in trade (he gave me a piece he did) as a gift to Christo. Apparently, he liked what I made.

Tree, ya think? I mean really, it just is as creepy as can be. I think it was commissioned by the Lofts to cut down on car break-ins.

Frederick, it is quite Orwellian.

Coffee Messiah, this is the reason I always make sure my makeup is looking good - I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille.

PeaceChick, I gave up mooning years ago, when my ass stopped looking like it was 20. However, for my 60th birthday in 2008, I will happily moon it.

Donnie, it is not creepy, it's EEEWWWWW.

MariaMaria, as I watch my town get Gentrified, and as it looses the charm it had to these kinds of devices, I feel sad. A complete loss of innocence in favor of a false sense of security? Ugh.

TINA WELCOME BACK! I MISS YOU. I love that BabyBoy is exactly two years younger than EllieBean.

Pursey Tuttweiler said...

The artist is making a statement. I think it is a good idea. I hope it reaches a lot of people.

Anonymous said...

I can't begin to describe it. On the other hand, I also think it's hilarious. This is what we've come to.

Orwellian? Yes, but on a more practical note, I can almost envision using it to drive squatters away from the front of my building at night. Flashlights work quite well, but there's nothing like automation.

Just thinking out loud.