The Watcher Within
For the exhibition 'The Watcher Within' (2023) I took on an alter-ego called Spider; an isolated persona with an existential desire to look without being seen. Spider uses openly accessible webcams to explore hidden narratives that unfold in ordinary and mundane. To reside in the human and not so human spheres as a ghostly presence. Out of this three works came: The Watcher Within (film), 3 men, 2 dogs, 1 car (publication), and Geest&Machine (research paper).
The Watcher Within (film)
film & photography: Jeroen Zwaap
editor: Jeroen Zwaap
soundscape design: Parvin
The Watcher Within is a non-narrative film. The works shows footage from my archives of hidden closed-circuit television cameras. The found footage is being presented as a poetic yet alienating film that explores the role of the internet gaze in our public and private spaces. In this dance of observation, spaces come alive, charged with meanings and emoti-ons that transcend their physical dimensions.
The home, the office,the store-each becomes more than a mere location, more than just a setting for human activity.
These spaces become living entities and intimate theatres of the infra-ordinary, absorbing and reflecting the spectrum of human experiences. Using found camera footage as a cinematic tool that appeals to the human desire to look, the work wishes to subvert surveillance technology into a medium for artistic and personal expression. The work seduces the audience to engage with the power dynamics of voyeurism through cinema. In fact, the work wants to make the audience complicit in looking and fictionalizing, and, eventually, turning our spaces into decors and us into the actors of our lives.