South Hill Park Arts Centre
South East England

South Hill Park's semi-regular screenings of video work in it's Atrium bar space continues with this curated submission show, taking the currently hot topic of surveillance as it's central theme. The show pulls no punches for it's non-gallery audience, exposing casual visitors to the venue to a range of sometimes challenging work. Mike Stubbs' behind the curtain view of urban estate violence "Cultural Quarter" provides one of the more shocking observations, while more readily accessible work comes from "The Duellists", David Valentine's Futuresonic commissioned project which makes use of the CCTV system of the Arndale Shopping Centre to capture the irreverent choreography of a pair of free-runners as they leap floor to floor. Artist/Architect, Alex Haw's "CCLTV" maps the traffic camera coverage of London's Euston Road, extracting the surveillance grid from the real world environment and morphing the imagery into a 3D visualisation that, at first, overlays the real time video, and then abstracts it out into it's own Tron-like world of data representation. In all, the looping reel of 13 artists work gives a broad interpretation of the theme. Beautiful, poetic video-walk imagery from Jonathan Moss and Victoria Lucas' dying butterfly to gritty urban takes on the ubiquity of street cameras from Brede Korsmo. However, none of the artists seem to tackle the social pressures and implications of living in the most surveyed country in the world head on. Perhaps the motives of Government in it's enthusiasm to monitor and capture the movements of it's citizens cannot yet be apprehended, or could it be a situation that typical British reserve stops us from talking about directly.