Wednesday, September 13, 2006

'Urbanites of Surveillance'

[Image: The Panoptic C-Thru 3D Video Surveillance System (via Gizmag)]

In all of his meanderings, Polo – now a Second Life migrant – came upon the abrupt outskirts of a naked and unrendered metropolis; a see-through city completely devoid of texture, where an androgynous biopolitical skeleton of moving parts [laborers, machines, vehicles] connected this totalitarian network of unshaded polygons in the vast atmospheric maw of game world plainness. The city’s infrastructure – now reduced to a heap of unexceptional models – was further subordinated by its own apparent invisibility, so that everything piped through it like monitored bits of proletarian automata seen laboring through the arterial view of some ambiguously dimensional vascular urban core.
Walls were obsolete. Instead, these urbanites pretended to obey mere placeholder representations of them, or, at least basic linear insinuations of their shapes; a deceptively intuitive society completely abiding by an invisible architectural corpus of authority.

[Image: Transparent New York, by Brian McGrath.]

This virtual metrosphere itself was a three-dimensional atlas of implicit borderzones and ideal spacio-surveillance proximities; an unsuspecting geometric landscape of intersecting planes, prefigured barrier relationships, controlled migration egress, and topographic cross sections of panoptic verticality.

[Image: The Transparent Room, a project by Michael Pinksy.]

Every nook and cranny, invisible corner, hidden cleft, sunken or elevated cubicle, every angle and non-angle of accountable urban space (corresponding exactly to an adjacent real world city somewhere on the globe), had become irrelevant, now that entire buildings were rendered transparent by a new security environment management system – better known as C-Thru – which was “effectively a complex form of Augmented Reality fusing real-world video imagery with volumetric models in a real-time 3D display.” With these scaled simulations, observers were enabled to comprehend multiple simultaneous streams of temporal data and imagery, in essence, watching entire cities with a single set of eyes.
Perhaps, the “Functioning Core” (theoretically) will one day be converted in to a meticulous 3D environment using this combination of imagery supplied by millions of “low-cost 360º cameras and dynamic background subtraction”, which, for all intents and purposes as the developers once explained, makes the walls of the world's buildings and vehicles translucent, “offering at-a-glance situational awareness of security-relevant people, objects and vehicles in motion.”

[Image: The Panoptic C-Thru 3D Video Surveillance System (via Gizmag)]

Imagine, whole cities digitized and exported into Second Life as perfect x-rays of themselves, gamers made optimal security agents for the global war on terror, the entire built world redevised online with its peopled guts exposed for all to see, all of us the urbanites of surveillance trapped in generated avatars of ourselves.
There, Polo found a future world designed to expose and admire itself, a city revealed only by its own omniscient view of itself. A narcissistic city made completely opaque so that everything could be seen and watched, scrutinized and tracked, matched in its own pale reflection; a city made in the image of a panoptic sublime. It all seemed the dream of a pervasive glance, the glance of a self-haunted city entertaining itself as the all seeing cyclopean narrator of its own techno urban spy novel. This time, Polo had found, quite virtually, an invisible city.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Combine this with a scalable project management software such as, (scalable to 100,000 workers according to its website to track your workers.I went company provided training in the use of this software for work as part of a design team and sat in a training room under the eyes of 3 surveilance cameras.


7:42 AM  

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