This work was part of the “Future of Etiquette” project I worked on with the year one group on the course, to a brief in part from T-Mobile’s design research team in Berlin.
Ka Fai constructed a simple apparatus using cheap laser-pointers that indicated the field of view of a digital camera to those in the surroundings.
In early design probes on the streets of Berlin, one of the most fascinating ‘protocols’ observed by passers-by was how almost universally the use of a camera created a spatial barrier between the photographer and the subject, that, at least for a short period of time, was seen as impassable.
Fascinating, in that most cameras are now digital, and there is no film to be wasted by the incursion of passer-bys in shot as perhaps there was only ten years ago. The etiquette is a hang-over from a previous technology perhaps…
The video below illustrates a period of time in Trafalgar Square, London – imagining that that invisible barrier is made visible – making clear the overlaps, frictions and interactions the cameras could create in such a highly-photographed piece of the city.