Eric Corriel Studios

multidisciplinary art studio • immersive and interactive public art • video installations • art activism • nyc

The Watcher

Site-specific interactive video installation, 2009

Nighttime photograph of an urban dweller on a cellphone, leaning against a lamppost on the far right side of the frame. Occuping the rest of the frame are two giant cartoon-like eyes, that are projected into the gated storefront behind him. The eyes are eyeing him; he has his back to them, seemingly oblivious to their presence.
Photo courtesy of Eric Corriel Studios

The Watcher is an interactive video installation that turns a gated storefront window into a cage inhabited by a giant cartoon creature whose eyes follow people as they pass by Shown in Brooklyn (NY)

We live in an age of seemingly ever increasing surveillance. And while we are told that these measures are harmless and ultimately taken for our safety, the fact remains that we are increasingly being watched. The Watcher straddles both sides of the debate: surveillance is regarded as harmless and necessary by some while others see it as invasive police/government overreach that erodes our right to privacy.

Nighttime photograph of a blurred NYC yellow cab moving across the frame with the two "Watcher" eyes in the storefront behind following it as it passes by

The installation consists of a camera hooked up to a computer, which then process the video feed through motion-tracking algorithms, which in turn directs the eyes’ movement. Special thanks to Justin Windle for the motion-tracking code. The Watcher was created using custom software written by the artist in Flash/Actionscript 3. The installation measures 10’ x 6’.

Viewers interacting with the piece

The Watcher was exhibited from June 6th to June 13th, 2009, sundown to sunrise.

Close up photograph of The Watcher's two giant black and white cartoon eyes behind a gated storefront

This piece was renamed from The Brooklyn Zoo to The Watcher in 2018.

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