The digital revolution gave rise to a society which communicates, informs, and manipulates with images. This development is based on media that are compatible with mass culture. The space of the internet is not only convenient as a platform for communication and information, it is also a space of signs and images of a rapidly changing and hybrid social order. The internet makes it possible to exchange and formulate socially relevant actions in real time. Using the internet as an interface, webcam technology supports the emergence of a new type of images which are typically time-bound and context-specific. The emphasis here is on the real-time image which is produced through webcam technology and multiple authorship and which is thus necessarily of a public nature.

Project description

For a certain period, artists are provided with webcams. Each person is invited to place their webcam in a context of their choice. The images taken by the cameras are transmitted in real-time to the internet site The user interface of the website shows the real-time image of the webcam, information about the real-time image, navigation tools for the webcam, and a link to a press release. Web users can access the webcam via the webpage, which offers the opportunity to control the webcam and choose among several possible views of a specific situation. The web users can also take pictures via the webcam. These images can be saved onto the user’s computer but will also be used to archive the exhibitions on The archive is thus generated by the web users.


The connotations evoked by a webcam mostly revolve around aspects of surveillance, communication, and real-time transmission. The webcam is a symbol of our hybrid society, a fact which makes it suitable as a medium of art. is a project that also evokes the following specific topics:

a) The Webcam as a Medium: The multiple uses made of the webcam serve as an indication of its presence in society. It has become a tool with the potential to mirror social tensions and hidden levels, which it makes visible as content, thus rendering them fruitful for further debate. The webcam is a video camera which can transmit its images via USB, Ethernet, or Wi-Fi connection to a computer or network of computers in real-time. It has proven to be a cost-effective tool for communication and presentation purposes in both business and personal contexts. The negative implications of the webcam technology became apparent on 23 March 2007, when Kevin Whitrick committed suicide in a chat room in front of rolling cameras. The first webcam is said to be the Trojan Room Coffee Pot Camera, which from 1991 until its breakdown in 2001 transmitted images of a coffee machine in the computer lab at the University of Cambridge to members of staff, and from 1993 to the internet. The device was subsequently bought at an auction for 10,000 German marks by Der Spiegel, who had it repaired. The coffee machine has been transmitting again ever since.

b) A Distant View of Reality: Hospital surgery increasingly takes place on the basis of real-time monitor images; telecommunications increasingly occur with real-time images via Skype; and the surveillance business in particular has long depended on a distant view of the objects under surveillance. It is obvious that we increasingly encounter real-time images in everyday life, which provide us with a picture of remote spaces and situations. According to Baudrillard, the striking aspect lies in the fact that the differentiation between the original and the copy, between the model and its representation, between reality and imagination has become impossible; it has given way to a general Lack of Referentiality of signs and images.

c) The Authorship of the Real-Time Image: Allocation of roles has been a subject of discussions in the context of curatorial discourses for many years. Processes of production and creation in relation to exhibitions, art projects, and symposiums are often cited. implies an extended allocation of roles, not only during the creation phase. The video images emerge from the combination of the concept with the specific choice of the situation where the camera is located. The web users in turn define ever new webcam perspectives and generate the exhibition archives through digital images. The interconnection of the artistic staging on and the total public accessibility of the resulting live stream images on the Internet site reveal the tension between the various roles of authorship involved in the creation of the real-time image.

d) Context as Content: Every use of a webcam forms part of a technical and content-related dispositive framework. For example, the Skype programme forms a context in which the webcam technology is used. What is at stake here is the way in which context-related conditions influence real-time image production. The question is addressed as to how the context of a work influences its realisation. Accordingly, the spatial parameters of have a role to play. The intention is to make visible how the test arrangement is conceived as the context for the specific real-time image. If we consider the interventions to be art, then it is also reasonable to ask whether this test arrangement brings forth a new type of art work – a type of work which is only made possible because of the overlapping interaction between artist, curator, and recipient. is not a closed arrangement but rather something that can be regarded as a permanent process of presentation, production, and communication of art.