ALC205 Collaborative Assignment


Group members include:

Ben Lawless

Panuruj Sakdiset

Xiliu Yan

“Under Observation, we act less free, which means we effectively are less free.”
– Edward Snowden

A plethora of proposals were considered when deciding what we wanted to create for our video. Our ideas evolved throughout the process. Initially a mockumentary styled piece was the direction we had decided. It was based around the popular TV show Survivor. The original proposal was too difficult to film given the environmental factors required to mimic Survivor, so we aimed to specifically deal with the tribal council. While the idea would be achievable it got dismissed as we felt it moved too far away from the original ideas of surveillance that governed us to emulate Survivor in the first place.

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Image: Stranded‘  by Manuel Schmidt, CC (By 2.0)

Big Brother was also considered as a possible reality show to imitate. We were considering a compilation. This would involve creating a series of comedic interactions between people that were caught on camera. We believed this idea lacked originally, and we also didn’t want to face legal trouble from the Big Brother twitter account.

The final mockumentary style considered was a parody of a reality school show, which stars destructive students in the classroom. It would have been fun to make and Deakin would be a great central location (as we all study there) to meet up and get the filming done. It was later discovered that within our group, a student was going to be overseas for the time we intended to film together. Not wanting to leave a member out of the process, we decided to discard these ideas and go for something that would involve all of us and be achievable internationally. We overcame this hurdle by finally deciding on a unique idea that encapsulated a strong essence of the main concepts considered within this unit. We each recorded ourselves in our room for 30 minutes to recreate and represent CCTV. These were fast forwarded and placed together to portray what those watching the surveillance footage would see. To reflect on our experiences for both the assignment and ourselves we provided a 30 – 40 second response about our thoughts and realisations from the entire experience. One of our group members decided not to film this section however, because they were too uncomfortable being on camera again.

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Image: Screenshot of our concept in action.

To work productively in a group, there are various stages that must be met. Intake, study, objectives, goal setting, intervention strategies and evaluation are all integral parts of the whole process. Initially after communicating through the ALC205 discussion board we created a group chat on Facebook to plan and discuss what we want to do for our video. This platform was easily accessible to every group member and allowed us to discuss and collaborate with more beneficial platforms later. After the initial contact on Facebook, a range of collaborative online media provided more specific and advantageous benefits to the entire group. For example, Google Documents allowed everyone to share and co-author our documents and work.

We had originally hoped to meet up and film the video in person, however half of the group were off campus students, which provided difficulties when attempting to all meet up.  We decided it was best that we each work on our own specified tasks and piece together the video as a whole production at the end. Instead of face to face meetings, we held frequent group calls on Skype, JoinMe and Google Hangout, which allowed for concise and efficient discussion and planning of our video. After a few meetings, we had finalized our idea and begun delegating tasks and responsibilities. The structure of our video allowed for an even share of the work, which provided a harmonious and enjoyable environment for everyone to work in.

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Image: Surveillance Cameras‘  by Gavin Stewart, CC (By 2.0)

In the digital age, most of us are constantly under surveillance both in the public and more concerningly in private places. CCTV is the most common form of surveillance in public places, but deceptively can be similarly found in areas which are thought to be private. The aim is to control and prevent people from performing illegal acts. This reasoning might be acceptable to some, and be considered fair and just, to many others in society (including most people in ALC205) it creates discomfort knowing that someone is also watching.

The video that we created intends to emulate and show how the surveillance of CCTV and other recording devices affects our behaviour and subconscious. We tried to replicate how the everyday person might react under these conditions, and being constantly watched. The four separate videos that were shot, were all taken in the most comfortable and relaxed place we all could think of, our bedrooms. Despite this, we all exerted examples of unnatural behaviour.

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Image: CCTV‘  by Rafael Parr, CC (By 2.0)

Given that our entire group mentioned the discomfort and awkwardness of the surveillance experiment, these responses aren’t the typical reactions that would be seen in everyday public. With CCTV, you often can be oblivious to the cameras or can ignore them quite easily. In our video however, the camera was the focal point of the room and the constant thoughts and reminders of being recorded played a significant part of our discomfort. These emotions also showed that while we are most comfortable in our own rooms, when that privacy is abused and removed, we notice both consciously and subconsciously immediately.

While our approach did not aim to be dystopian, it seemed unanimously that the experience gave a feeling of unsettlement. It demonstrated just how much invasive our surveillance technology is. While there are undoubted benefits to the CCTV system our project accentuates that these strengths ultimately come at a cost.

Within this modern and developed world, cameras are everywhere and can be found around every corner or even on us (for the majority of people that have a smartphone). By filming our footage on phone cameras, we are displaying how the everyday person can be their own surveillance camera, either filming themselves or others. This fact seems to scare many civilians as they think that getting filmed is an invasion of privacy. Isn’t that something that is happening on a daily basis without us even knowing? How come we are scared of those we can put a face to, yet ignore those we cannot? Why are we uncomfortable filming ourselves or getting filmed by a friend, when we mostly do not look twice at the CCTV cameras all around?

Check out our video here 🙂 :

Written by Luke Galbraith, Ben Lawless, Panuruj Sakdiset and Xiliu Yan.

Reference List

Edward Snowden 2015, Mass Surveillance in an Invasion of Privacy, International Trade News, retrieved 2nd of October 2016, http://www.internationaltradenews.com/news/articles/mass_surveillance_is_an_invasion_of_privacy/

Gavin Stewart 2006, Surveillance Cameras, photograph, retrieved 4 October 2016, https://www.flickr.com/photos/gavinandrewstewart/279865720/in/photolist-qJok3-gAj8Dm-qJohF-qJogu-9DXu2z-8jcsSE-8d1ADr-qif6Cr-5TXEX-7WEzrB-9W5hCs-63GGnv-sgr8rh-6wRqgn-8Kjf8y-HaAT4-oXGss-6WAtk3-JHfUg-GiYvbX-jZQV5-gUyMo-e3uZxg-azFqCi-5JPCk6-VZxyW-yW2VU-oLDWeu-6WwsMk-9EVYXz-iXk6Hd-emcVv-8gU4wP-6WwttH-7Zese-hxiLQX-59qDdo-hxhjRC-dDgdoa-kRcXtw-F8hqD-7VibC7-6WAtTw-8Qkqcd-4HWanj-nS1TL-6WwtmH-pWytsC-6WwsSD-4KGLFA&gt

Manuel Schmidt 2015, Stranded, photograph, retrieved 4 October 2016,
https://www.flickr.com/photos/63929583@N07/16900537284/in/photolist-rKrEVS-qFKwVt-7tMez6-pmjG51-5snqqB-TdSvD-7A8XdT-qyudxo-8TFkc5-avZH73-4cKbR-8TGV38-uYehTy-jqtpE8-4PUPw8-q2P5mF-4PUQ94-4PUPL6-4PUQjK-4PZ6Mo-4PZ5xj-nbcMZw-4PZ7eb-4PZ71G-5XLCuJ&gt

Rafael Parr 2014, CCTV, photograph, retrieved 4 October 2016, https://www.flickr.com/photos/rafaelparr/15258582922/in/photolist-pfme6U-7pZfGM-aFMn6g-cm573Y-b2DZaP-mKaGLB-bT3qJK-4Da5AR-cEKajS-5ggr3K-bH1Lxk-p2nBWJ-29zhki-iCycND-6ggAP8-cm575w-h1NSS4-sznXM-9uKCu4-88BdsR-aUYEhn-mFGdUg-bPnwh-57DpEp-5mxh2R-EUTyoV-5mxn2M-65MyYu-4v1xfx-G38Sh-5F2NEa-51GZA3-5n9XQM-buFP3P-F12r-4QqbKZ-fQK2J9-bVaLfb-e9WPbF-85TQbh-9ZytnV-5hEoWd-2YC2eh-61w43P-byro7c-9AWhWt-zQUv5-9VzsTn-56X3D6-f9EpqR>

Thomas Hawk 2009, Surveillance, photograph, retrieved 4 October 2016, https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/13124559245/in/photolist-kZLNde-eaqBye-6GVSiZ-6GWi9g-9kQQ6-9kQU2-6H1oau-9kQW6-9kQRS-9kQYf-q1keGK-48n4sA-4jiJg3-aw5ZnY-xuXD-4jiL2J-LUQa1-4bWLna-7BFbir-ggqHE-6sYW81-8zrHfE-9tYZtp-4xBuJt-peVbFy-f4A53y-bBY9F2-4KYQpB-6H9BL7-dYNhJx-fbvyQS-48Ri2G-aPnSB-qJoib-qJoj5-qJoh6-qJokG-b2vtQ-qJok3-gAj8Dm-qJohF-qJogu-9DXu2z-8jcsSE-8d1ADr-qif6Cr-5TXEX-7WEzrB-9W5hCs-63GGnv&gt

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