Sourcing live footage from web-connected cameras all over the world, a mysterious art collective has created a neverending film about everyday life. The collective calls themselves Null, and the film, titled you-are-watching.me is like a more abstruse version of The Truman Show that follows many random people instead of one person selected from birth.
you-are-watching.me is powered by an algorithm that cuts through live feeds with cinematic rhythm, and the soundtrack is made from correlating sounds found throughout the internet. The combination means that no two viewings will be the same. "It is a dramatized narrative construction patched from real life," Null explains. The time I spent on their site, I watched one man narrate a series of traffic footage, heard a woman hum along to opera, accompanied an unseen viewer watching a telenovela, and sat through a bizzare real estate advertisement. Stripped of context, viewers are forced to build their own narratives about the lives they are watching. It scratches the same itch as people-watching on the train, We Live in Public, or William Betts' CCTV films.
While feeding your inner voyeur, Null also admonishes how little attention is paid to personal cybersecurity: "Us as a film, as characters, without our knowledge, without our apparent consent. This is how we live now, we allow access to our lives in exchange for a 'social life,' 'convenience,' 'security.'" Check the password on your webcam, or you might wind up as an unintentional star of you-are-watching.me.