Along with the explosion of surveillance cameras comes a new type of filmmaker. Using a technique called "video sniffing"; they're pirating CCTV footage from shopping centres and the police to "retake control of their environment".
Video sniffing, or "warspying", was originally a game with the goal of getting hold of CCTV footage. With the help of a 2.4GHz receiver (which you can get on eBay) and an old camera, video sniffers can receive the images recorded by small shops and offices, and even the police. Once they know where the surveillance cameras are, they can put on a performance in view of them and retrieve the footage without spending an extra penny. The money-saving technique has become increasingly popular in the past few years and is now appearing in exhibitions and actual films.
The Commercial by David Valentine
This video was "sniffed", or pirated from CCTV cameras.
The Duelists by David Valentine
This video was made with images from CCTV cameras, but the video artist had been given permission to use the control room. The footage was not pirated.
David Valentine is a British filmmaker.
Monika Vykoukal is a curator at Peacock Visual Arts, a contemporary visual-arts organization in Aberdeen, Scotland.
The community of CCTV filmmakers is small but widespread and bound to evolve and gain popularity. They use networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to promote their work. CCTV filmmaking is very appealing and inspiring because it's an accessible art form, something people feel they can take part in and add something to."