Ring

Stéphane Degoutin and Gwenola Wagon

House made of BA13 plates and metal frames, door equipped with doorbell, connected lock ring, sofa, TV and color film, hd, stereo, 10 min.

2020

Ring consists of a little white house surrounded by green lawn. The door monitored by a doorbell "Ring" films outside. Inside, one can sit on a sofa to watch a TV screen videos captured by Ring doorbells (company bought by Amazon). The film shows the most ambiguous aspects of the Ring surveillance network, installed on doors of American's homes. The unauthorized capture of the neighborhood, the organized espionage between neighbors and the accessibility of the videos to the police turn the great dream of automated house into a paranoid nightmare. The slightest sign captured - the theft of a butterfly, a lost dog, the shadow of a walker... - becomes suspect, haunt the the little white house.

Ring, installation sketch, 2020. The house is built in plasterboard (white). It is surrounded by a one meter wide strip of faux grass. The door is equipped with an Amazon Ring bell and an electronic code lock. The house measures 3 x 3 m on the ground (5 x 5 m with the lawn) and 3 m high.
Ring, installation sketch, 2020. Ring - inside (top view) On the inside, the metal profiles to which the plasterboard panels are attached are visible, as well as the reverse side of the panels (grey). A sofa faces the door. Visitors sit there to watch the video, which is shown on a flat-screen TV set on a TV cabinet. When entering, the visitor therefore sees the back of the TV, as if he were entering a living room, or rather as if he were in a living room decor. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Amazon markets a videophone doorbell, called "Ring", to be installed on front door. Connected to an electronic lock, it allows you to remotely open the door to receive friends, deliveries, etc.. Ring is equipped with a camera, which monitore at any time what is happening in front of the porch. You can observe it on your smartphone, no matter where you are.

Linked to Internet, these countless cameras become detectors, snitches, witnesses with unlikely points of view. They are creating a private peer-to-peer espionage network. But who would have the time to watch everything ? It will probably not be human beings who will sort through these millions of hours of films in which absolutely nothing happens. Rather software, programmed to detect behaviors, or neural networks trained to recognize faces... (perhaps they will be assisted by click workers paid to stalk your ex.) They record, capture, annotate, data mine, transform the mass of data, filter by biometric detection assisted by deep learning, according to a list of suspicious gestures, throw their results to public police officers or intelligence agencies... As for the most spectacular extracts, they end up on YouTube. Voyeurism is entering in deep phase.

Diffusion

Shelter exhibition, Zoo Galerie, Nantes, november 24 to december 24 2020.