Over the weekend I launched Ring™ Log, which is simultaneously a critique of surveillance culture and a parody of machine vision in suburbia. In the interactive artist statement I call Ring™ Log an experiment in speculative surveillance.
“Speculative” in this context means what if?
What if Amazon’s Ring™ doorbell cams began integrating AI-powered object detection in order to identify, catalog, and report what the cameras “see” as they passively await for friends, neighbors, and strangers alike to visit your home? This is the question Ring™ Log asks. And, given the season (I write this on October 29, 2019), what would the cameras see and report on Halloween, when many of the figures that appear on your front stoop defy categorization?
(Yeah, that’s a hint about what my students will be doing in my Electronic Literature course next semester!)