CCTV Monitor 1

by

2003

Duration
3

A mysterious journey is undertaken to an unknown destination as nightriders and drivers ease down midnight motorways. A post-apocalyptic atmosphere hovers above the cosy sleepiness of English lanes and hedgerows like a B-movie ‘darkest hour’.

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A nocturnal journey through the English countryside is imagined through the lenses of a succession of CCTV cameras. The work sleepwalks through a series of empty lanes and meadows, and a sense that all is well with the world prevails until the eerie emptiness of a dual carriageway shifts the mood from benign slumber to postapocalyptic anxiety. A fleet of identical cars appears, flowing silently in one direction only. This invasion force of grey uniformity makes way for a similar regiment of identical, shadowy bikers easing down a slip road. The unknown army disappears as suddenly as it was manifest, and the landscape reverts to pleasanter dreams. Twenty-four-hour surveillance would appear to threaten the sanctity of the English landscape, and the by ways of England can no longer offer the freedom and protection of anonymity. Our paranoid dreams are haunted by the march of the nightriders bearing writs for the nameless crimes we didn’t know we had committed. CCTV Monitor 1 is an element from The Invisible Force Field Experiments, a project that explores the relationship between scientific and cultural production framed by the aesthetics and tropes of British pastoral science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s. The project was documented as a DVD and booklet, which took the form of a quasi-governmental report into the ‘failure’ of the experiments. Marrying the day-for-night photography beloved of low budget British sci-fi with the aesthetics of contemporary surveillance, CCTV Monitor 1 portrays a semi fictional journey from the suburban countryside to a small village in the New Forest, a landscape that inspired John Wyndham to write The Day of The Triffids.

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