Forum E

Hi all.

Please visit the following links to various websites of organizations and projects, which are creating public maps of surveillance cameras erected in their local communities.

http://www.nyclu.org/pdfs/surveillance_cams_report_121306.pdf

http://www.appliedautonomy.com/isee/centerfoldmap02.pdf

http://www.smartmobs.com/2006/12/19/video-surveillance-map-mashup-in-philly/

 

What arguments are these organizations and maps making?  How would you put Flusty into conversation with these maps?  In other words, how do these maps extend, complicate, affirm, negate, concede, etc. with the arguments Flusty is making?  What concerns does the surveillance of public space raise for you or not raise for you?  What is really at stake here in the proliferation of camera surveillance in public space that these arguments are shedding?  How would you respond to Flusty? How would you weigh in here? 

Importantly, what research projects might you see emerging related to security and public space?  What kinds of research do you think were performed to create these maps?  How does the research we have been doing with geosemiotics relate?

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4 responses to “Forum E

  1. These organizations are arguing the ruling over the use of security cameras in public spaces in the city. The first article talks about all the different reasons why a city would install security cameras to monitor activity. They basically discuss all the negative and positive points into why security cameras are in use. One of the main questions they answer is, are we safer with security cameras. The second article depicts the growth of security cameras in New York City. It highlights the areas in the city that have seen a rise in the use of security cameras. I particularly liked this article the most because it illustrated where the cameras are. I think many people don’t know where cameras are so they can’t make an argument against it. But now since they know that on their street corner a camera sits watching them, they will be more observant. The third article shows all the security cameras in some area of Philadelphia. I was amazed to see that for such a small block of area, the city has installed so many security cameras. Either there is a high crime rate or people want to protect their stuff? I am interested into finding out who had the legal power to decide where each camera went in the city. Flusty is arguing the fact that L.A.’s influx of security cameras in certain areas is making a place he once enjoyed to live into redundant zones of oversight and property control. He believes that this threatens the free exchange of ideas happening within a progressive society. Flusty also goes on to state that people are building material barriers between individuals on the basis of wealth. So because of this I feel Flusty would go against the articles presented because he doesn’t believe in the use of cameras. He feels that it hurts society instead of helping them. I would have to disagree with Flusty because I feel that security cameras aide society into providing security. There are so many things that happen today that are discovered through the use of security cameras. Maybe some areas could limit the number of security cameras for privacy, but I am generally for the use of security cameras. Maybe one project could be setting up a camera in a restricted area and then filming the way people react to it.

  2. The organizations arguments seem to be concerning that of security. They may feel that more surveillance is needed to curb crime. The addition of surveillance cameras affects people’s behaviors and they feel this is a good way to control these behaviors.
    These maps confirm Flusty’s argument. The maps specifically show Flusty’s “jittery space” in action. Jittery space is defined as “space that cannot be utilized unobserved due to active monitoring.” (Building Paranoia, 49).
    I’m glad there is public monitoring to a certain extent because it deters people from committing crimes. I’m afraid that this monitoring may give way to bad things such as breaching personal privacy.
    The way people interact with public space is what’s at stake with the use of monitoring in public spaces. These public spaces no longer become public because social and political actions by the public are seemingly unacceptable through the use of governmental monitoring systems.
    Personally, the stance Flusty has taken is a little too extreme. He speaks in a tone that suggests that these monitoring systems or interdictory spaces shouldn’t be established. I believe people have been given the reason to put up such monitoring systems. For example, if someone breaks into a house because there was no alarm system the owner of the home is going to learn from this and they’re going to protect what’s of value to them.
    Based on these readings, it would be interesting to conduct research people’s behavioral change as they approach monitoring systems or systems of security.

  3. I agree with your point that public security cameras are a good thing and should be used to an extent. I do feel that some privacy issues arise when dealing with public space and cameras. What type of project do you think you could do to see how people feel and react to security cameras?

  4. The first organization is arguing the fact that there are too many security cameras in our cities, intruding on our public space. They are stating that it is violating our privacy and increasing more security cameras should be stopped, but also look at the opposite side and say that cameras help eliminate crime. The 2 other maps show the increase in cameras in the Manhattan and Philly regions, showing the growth and concentrated density in security cameras. Flusty thinks that too much cameras changes people’s perspectives on things and violates people’s privacy in public space, which is a contradicting statement but can be looked upon in depth because even though these cameras are under surveillance in public spaces, people think that they shouldn’t feel constantly watched and depicted on every move they make walking down the sidewalk. The surveillance of public space for me makes me feel more comfortable. I think having surveillance in regions makes crime decrease and even if a crime is committed, the culprit could always be found with the help of security cameras catching every move. What is at stake here is the facts that are these cameras useful enough in society with the sacrifice of people’s privacy. Flusty would say no and I would say yes. I would say that surveillance cameras are effective enough in controlling crime to allow the increase in them in cities and I feel people’s privacy walking down public city sidewalks is a sacrifice for the semi- elimination of crime. A research project idea might be the study of security cameras in the public space of the carousel mall. The research that was needed to create these given maps here was probably simply the street approach and seeing where all the cameras were in the cities and creating a map of them. I am very fascinated with this topic and how it relates to the study of semiotics that we have been learning so far.

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