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Security cameras move to Auckland artist’s beat

Auckland artist Dan Dixon was recently shortlisted for a global award for giving security cameras a leading role in a playful city.

Dixon couldn’t pull off the win, but was shortlisted with seven others for the Playable City award in the UK, which the organisers say calls on creatives to produce a tech-based artwork “that gives residents of the city permission to be playful in public and inject a sense of wonder into public spaces”.

His entry WTC used infrared sensitive cameras and image recognition techniques to make CCTV cameras interact with the public – moving, flashing lights or playing sound.

“The cameras’ personalities and environments are created in collaboration with street artists, as if existing cameras have been transformed by a splodge of exuberant, interactive, urban art,” the entry says.

“Working with the VVTC team they will help define how the cameras behave, how they are skinned and the ways they react to people. Some may act like antipodean birds, others may have laser pointers and disco balls to wave.”

In 2012 Dixon carried out a pilot NESTA digital R&D project around immersive theatre, with Punchdrunk and MIT. He is currently finishing a PhD which involves an ethnographic examination of the aesthetics of pervasive gaming.

He has previously managed large scale web design and development for multinational companies; worked as product manager for the BBC’s online communities and user-generated content sites and consulted to blue chip companies on web and social software.

He’s collaborating with AUT’s Colab on the project. 

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