Alan Brown, 2017
I Agree is an interactive artwork that subverts the aesthetic and function of a CCTV system. Attached to a tree is a device which looks like an industrial CCTV camera enclosure but handcrafted from wood. Inside the wooden enclosure is a camera which is directed towards a wooden cabinet with a video screen and crank handle on the front. When the handle is turned the screen and camera are powered on and the participant can be seen on the monitor. The participant is both observer and subject and complicit in the act of surveillance.
The piece raises questions about participatory surveillance in an age of connected technology, where many of us readily volunteer personal data that can be used to track our activities. The UK is one of the most surveilled nations in the world and these forms of monitoring have become commonplace and as such can appear invisible. By building the CCTV system from wood it merges with its environment and highlights the insidious and pervading impact of surveillance.