New era kaleidoscope

2012 Moscow: Polyot cinema; worldwide:

Surveillance system intervention;
infrared spotlights, online photography series

The legislative election on December 2011 ended with protests against its results and were called the Snow Revolution by some media. The protests were the biggest since the fall of the USSR, and their main innovation was that they were driven by the rise of activity of social networks and other digital media.

Huge amounts of photos and videos were circulating through all available networks. The other innovation, but less known, was the central surveillance system that was in the process of construction for about 5 years.

Almost all Russian children (and their parents, of course) remember New Year celebration shows. Their scripts have frozen somewhere in 1980s guides for children holidays organizers.

In 2012 for the first time, official and always tedious municipal New Year shows were held in renovated cinemas which included the innovative surveillance system with optical zoom and autofocus lenses. The situation recalled me reports of Moscow protests: the audience and strange mixes of Soviet cartoons, tales, battles between good and evil, and all that was inside a Soviet modernist building without windows. For the most part of Russia’s population the protests were somewhere in a virtual world, like the other popular trends of 2010s, innovations and high tech production.

Powerful infrared pulse spotlights were installed before the shows, the data from video surveillance systems was acquired after them, and stills most suitable stylistically to be shown as ordinary photographic report were exported and saved.

The stills presented to Moscow department of culture. Then they were published via social networks by the department’s PR team as they thought the photos were real reportage. The ‘exhibition’ took place on, Russian widespread social network.