Prof. Steve Mann, University of Toronto, 10 King's College Road, Dept. E.C.E., Room 2001 Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 3G4 E-mail: email@example.com
There is no place for the privacy factor when public safety is concerned . ---John Fitzgerald, Supervisor, Transportation Operations, U.S. Postal Service, New York 
Embodied in the work presented in this paper is my assertion of "acquisitional privacy," a concept that challenges the right of organizations to capture/record images of an individual, regardless of what promises are given regarding end use. Tacit in my assertion is the notion of self-ownership . (Some self-ownership pieces are illustrated in Fig. 1.)
A further goal of this paper is to call into question totalitarian visual surveillance. Totalitarian visual surveillance refers to a state of being in which individuals are "seen" by a remote and unobservable entity (human or machine) but do not "see" each other through the apparatus. (This situation calls to mind Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon , a structure he proposed for prisons, schools, workplaces and the like, where prisoners, students, employees, etc., could not see or interact with one another, but could be seen by a potential guard in a specially designed guard tower. The tower was designed so that individuals would not know whether the guard was watching them or even whether there actually was a guard in the tower.)
One example of totalitarian video surveillance is found in department stores where extensive video surveillance is used, yet photography is prohibited. Of all forms of surveillance, totalitarian surveillance is particularly disturbing, as representatives of the video surveillance superhighway refuse to accept the accountability they demand---furthering us toward a Panopticon society in which we are treated more like prisoners than members of a community.
Important to the thesis of this paper are the following ways in which agents and representatives of the video surveillance superhighway defend their infrastructure: (1) Secrecy: the field is often not subject to open debate or peer-review; (2) Rhetoric: "public safety," "loss prevention," "For YOUR protection you are being videotaped"; (3) Constancy: department store clerks do not follow shoppers around with camcorders, but, rather, video surveillance is present in a "matter-of-fact" manner, as part of the architecture's prosthetic territory; (4) Higher and unquestionable authority: "I trust you and know you would never shoplift, but my manager installed the cameras," or "We trust you, but our insurance company requires the cameras"; (5) Criminalization of the critic: "Why are you so paranoid; you're not trying to steal something are you?"
One of my goals in applying Reflectionism to the surveillance problem is to allow representatives of the surveillance superhighway to see its absurdity and to confront the reality of what they are doing through direct action or through inaction (blind obedience to a higher and unquestionable authority).
In particular, the apparatus provided a means of taking pictures of representatives of establishments that place customers under surveillance, in such a way that those representatives could not determine whether or not such pictures were being taken (just as we never know whether or not a department store surveillance camera is actually capturing an image of us at any given time).
WearCam comprised a computer system that was worn on the body, rather than carried, and a display means that left both hands free. A wireless connection to the Internet provided offsite backup of all image data, facilitating another aspect of the Reflectionist philosophy---namely, as far as destruction is concerned, to put the pictures beyond the reach of totalitarianist officials. Just as an individual cannot rob a bank and then destroy the video record (because the video is recorded or backed up offsite, or is otherwise beyond the bank robber's reach), my apparatus of détournement (see Fig. 2) put the images beyond the destructive reach of members of the establishment, because of the Internet connection, which allowed for offsite backup of all images at various sites around the world.
An advantage of transmitting images to remote locations is the possibility
of having multiple processors work together at various remote sites to
enhance the images by regarding each image as a collection of photometric
measurements and combining these measurements together to reduce noise,
extend dynamic range and tonal resolution, and increase spatial resolution
and extent. In one such enhancement, I programmed the computers to use my
algorithm to combine images together into a seamless photometric composite
(Fig. 3), which provided a still image as a visual record of my gaze pattern. (Note the irregularly shaped image boundary as well as the exceptionally high definition, often in excess of that attainable by photographic means.) My mathematical framework for this processing  has been successfully implemented on a large number of computers working in parallel, with a negligible amount of inter-processor communication.
More recently, the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW) facilitated my Wearable Wireless Webcam (1994) and the principle of offsite (off-body) backup was further enhanced. Once the image is distributed via the WWW, it is further beyond the destructive powers of department store security guards and the like, as I no longer know how many copies of my transmitted pictures might have been made. Evidence that might, for example, show that a department store has illegally chained shut its fire exits is not only beyond the store's ability to seize or destroy, but is also within easy reach of the fire marshall, who, following my directions via cellular phone from the department store, need only have a standard desktop computer with WWW browser in order to see first-hand what my call pertains to.
WearCam-on-the-WWW thus extends this "personal safety" infrastructure and further deters representatives of an otherwise totalitarian regime from being abusive: on one hand, I have collected the indestructible evidence of hostile totalitarian actions, and on the other, my friends and relatives are quite likely to be watching, in real time, at any given moment.
This process is a form of "personal documentary" or "personal video diary." Wearable Wireless Webcam challenges the "editing" tradition of cinematography by transmitting, in real time, life as it happens, from the perspective of the surveilled (Fig. 4). Furthermore, because I am merely capturing measurements of light (based on the photometric image composite , which represents the quantity of light arriving from any angle to a particular point in space), which are then yet to be "rendered" into a picture, I may choose to leave it up to a remote viewer operating a telematic virtual camera to make the choices of framing the picture (spatial extent), camera orientation, shutter speed, exposure, etc. (Fig. 4b). In this way I may absolve myself of responsibility for taking pictures in establishments (such as department stores) where photography is prohibited, for I am merely a robot at the mercy of a remote operator who is the actual photographer (the one to make the judgment calls and actually push the virtual shutter release button). In this manner, an image results, but I have chosen not to know who the photographer is. Indeed, the purpose of these personal documentaries has been to challenge representatives of the video surveillance superhighway who at the same time prohibit photography and video.
These personal documentaries, such as one I call ShootingBack , typically had two audiences---the audience to which I performed and another, remote, audience. Members of the remote audience knew they were an audience because they were entering a traditional "gallery." (Even though it was virtual in the sense that it was on the Internet, it was still traditional in the sense that the interaction was analogous to a real-world gallery or museum.) The other audience comprised those who were physically present in front of the WearCam apparatus (e.g. representatives of the surveillance superhighway and customers/patrons of their establishments).
Members of the physically present audience, at first, do not realize that they are an audience. On one level, they might be regarded as "enemy" (they are being "shot at" in the sense of "shooting back"), while on another level, the performance is directed at them---to educate them, teaching being an act of love and human compassion.
ShootingBack was a meta-documentary (a documentary about making a documentary). Since I am a camera, in some sense, I do not need to carry a camera, but in ShootingBack, I did anyway. This second camera, an ordinary hand-held video camera, which I carried in a satchel, served as a prop with which to confront members of organizations that place us under surveillance. First, before pulling the camera out of my satchel, I would ask store representatives why they had cameras pointing at me, to which they would typically reply "Why are you so paranoid?" or "Only criminals are afraid of the cameras." All this, of course, was recorded by my WearComp/WearCam apparatus concealed in an ordinary pair of sunglasses. Then I would open up my satchel and pull out the hand-held video camera and point it at them in a very obvious manner. Suddenly they had to swallow their own words. In some sense, ShootingBack caught "the pot calling the kettle black."
The following are experiments that I have conducted and purposely taken to the extreme in order to (1) illustrate a point and (2) experience reactions and observations first hand. It is not likely that the average reader would go to these extremes but some more subtle variations of these experiments will still provide similar insights or reactions. In the tradition of conceptual art, they are presented in the form of "recipes," or lists of instructions. Some of them are simple enough to allow motivated readers to repeat these performances.
"Maybe Camera": A mere "idea" cannot be patented, but, rather, the idea must first be "reduced to practice." Similarly, an idea cannot be copyrighted; it must first be manifested in some "tangible" form. Conceptual art, however, provides us with a means whereby the idea itself is the contribution. Accordingly, I propose the following:
"Probably Camera": Depending on the level of paranoia, if "Maybe Camera" is not "understood" by your audience, then perhaps the following conceptual/performance/Reflectionist piece would be:
"Probably Camera" and "Maybe Camera" can be worn together of course, since one uses the front of the body, while the other uses the back.
"No Camera": This conceptual piece involves video time-delay , to symbolize the disjointedness between cause and effect that video recording creates:
In My Manager, I am metaphorically merely a puppet on a "string" (to be precise, a puppet on a wireless data connection). I might, for example, dutifully march into the establishment in question, go over to the stationery department, select a pencil for purchase, and march past the magazine rack without stopping to browse through the magazines, because I am not permitted by "my manager" to stop and browse. In this example, I have been sent on an errand to purchase a pencil for a higher and unquestionable authority. When challenged by the department store's clerks or security guards as to the purpose of the cameras I am wearing, I indicate that what I am wearing is a company uniform and that my manager requires me to wear the apparatus (the uniform) so that she can make sure that I do not stop and read magazines while I am performing errands on company time. Sometimes I remark: "I trust you, and I know you would never falsely accuse me of shoplifting, but my manager is really paranoid, and she thinks shopkeepers are out to get her employees by falsely accusing them of shoplifting" .
Just as representatives in an organization absolve themselves of responsibility for their surveillance systems by blaming surveillance on managers or others higher up their official hierarchy, I absolve myself of responsibility for taking pictures of these representatives without their permission because it is the remote manager(s) together with the thousands of viewers on the World Wide Web who are taking the pictures.
The subjects of the pictures---for example, department store managers, who had previously stated that "only criminals are afraid of video cameras" or that the use of video surveillance is beyond their control---either implicate themselves of their own accusations by showing fear in the face of a camera or acknowledge the undesirable state of affairs that can arise from cameras that function as an extension of a higher and unquestionable authority.
If their response is one of fear and paranoia, I hand them a form, entitled RFD (Request for Deletion) which they may use to make a request to have their pictures deleted from my manager's database (I inform them that the images have already been transmitted to my manager and cannot be deleted by me). The form asks them for name, social security number and why they would like to have their images deleted. The form also requests that they sign a section certifying that the reason is not one of concealing criminal activity, such as hiding the fact that their fire exits are illegally chained shut.
It is my hope that the department store attendant/representative sees himself/herself in the bureaucratic "mirror" that I have created by being a puppet on a (wireless) "string." My Manager forces attendants/maintainers/supporters of the video surveillance superhighway, with all of its rhetoric and bureaucracy, to realize or admit for a brief instant that they are puppets and to confront the reality of what their blind obedience leads to.
An early version of Cyborgian Primitive involved my growing my hair through fine mesh in a skull cap and then "locking" it on the other side (hair locking may be accelerated by teasing in bee's wax to cause the hair to tangle together permanently). After I used conductive/metallic hair dyes (to help make my hair form part of a ground-plane for a transmitter), my hair was sufficiently "damaged" to lock quite easily. The skull cap formed a substrate upon which other devices could be mounted. In this manner, I could not reasonably be asked to remove the apparatus, because that would require shaving off my hair. This necessary subversion of the body provided a reasonable barrier to requests by others that the apparatus be removed.
A more recent variant of Cyborgian Primitive depended on modifying the brain rather than the body. I based these experiments on something I have called "mediated reality" and proposed as a method of conducting scientific experiments in visual perception, as well as for prosthetic purposes . As a prosthetic, the apparatus I describe in Fig. 2 of an MIT technical report  allowed me to computationally augment, diminish or otherwise alter the perception of reality for the purposes of attaining a heightened sense of awareness, seeing better or compensating for a visual deficiency that cannot be corrected with ordinary (pure-refractive optical) eyeglasses.
Other researchers have experimented with the re-configuring of visual reality (Stratton experimented with optical upside-down glasses  and Kohler  and Dolezal  with left-right reversing prism glasses), but what is unique about my mediated-reality approach is that it is based on computational apparatus rather than optics (e.g. lenses, prisms and mirrors). Thus, my visual experience can be recorded and transmitted to remote locations, thus allowing others to augment, diminish or otherwise alter my perception of visual reality.
As have other scientists, I found that an adaptation to the apparatus occurred and that, after some time, I developed a dependence on the apparatus. Removal of the apparatus would result in my inability to see properly, as well as sensations of nausea, dizziness and disorientation. With this deliberate modification of the visual system, involving the development of alternate neural pathways through the process of certain kinds of very long-term visual adaptation, one may attain a permanent or semi-permanent bonding with the apparatus, in the sense that others cannot reasonably ask that it be removed. In the spirit of Reflectionism, WearCam was made to function as a true extension of the mind and body, as a third eye (or second pair of eyes, in the case of some two-camera systems I have described in my MIT technical report ).
Beyond the fact that a totalitarianist asking that the device be removed is asking the wearer to violate or subvert his or her own body, there is also the obvious legal responsibility the totalitarianist must accept for the prospect of the wearer's abrupt exposure to his or her original, or natural, neural pathways and the possibility of any brain damage or onset of flashbacks that might result from a sudden re-instantiation of the old (temporarily or semi-permanently weakened) neural paths.
Thus, when asked to remove the apparatus, if in fact it even could be removed (e.g. if it were not permanent or semi-permanent), one might merely present the totalitarianist attendant with a form to sign accepting all responsibility for any damage. This use of forms (e.g. an individual presenting officials with forms) is itself a Reflectionist gesture.
I recently used a joint mental and physical bonding (permanent/semipermanent head cap) in a self-ownership piece called Primitive Identity. In this piece, I defined myself as self + prosthetic device in all manner of official portraiture (e.g. Fig. 8), regardless of any requirements that eyeglasses and the like may not be worn during such portraiture.
As Foucault notes, it is not essential that the guard in the tower be watching a particular prisoner, or even that there be a guard in the tower; it is only necessary that the prisoner not know whether there is a guard watching in the tower. Similarly, to subvert Panopticon, it would not be essential that the guard be watched, but just that there be a possibility that the guard could be spotted by a "prisoner" at some time.
To this Diffusionist end, I have created a wireless communications infrastructure capable of supporting a networked community of hobbyists wearing a similar apparatus. During one performance piece, I, together with a group of others willing to participate, went out shopping one day, wearing such apparatus (thus, those at the department store needed to confront not just one, but many of us). The picture I took of this group was of such popularity that we recently re-enacted the event (Fig. 9).
Part of my Diffusionist goal is enhanced by finding everyday uses for wearable cameras---for example, cameras that automatically recognize faces, for individuals with visual or memory disability  (we all suffer from difficulty remembering faces), as well as wearable, tetherless computer-mediated reality for the public at large.
While one might be inclined to think that the inevitable commercialization of this invention may mark the détournement of this détournement, Diffusionism is put forth as a détournement of a détournement of a détournement (as in the equation Diffusionism = détournement<^>3).
To this end, my goal is to turn WearCam into a useful and commercially viable everyday object that can help us see better, avoid getting lost (automatic directions combined with object recognition, global position systems [GPS] and video overlays), and remember names and faces better. Thus, these very utilitarian applications of WearCam may serve as a détournement of utilitarianism itself.
Figure Captions Fig. 1. Pieces constructed to assert the principle of self-ownership (1993--1994). Given society's utilitarianist tendency to put our "blood and sweat" ahead of our "heart and soul," these pieces question the apparent notion that copyrighted material (intentional works) should have more protection than people and the data they give off (unintentional works). (a) Parody of the classic "shrink wrap" software license agreement, placing restrictions on those who might photograph the wearer (including restrictions when shirt is removed, e.g. restrictions on use of hidden cameras in fitting rooms). (b) Parody of software piracy poster put on back of T-shirt, including material to which the author owns the copyright. (c) Parody of a "Say No! to software piracy. If you don't own it, DON'T use it!" poster. Fig. 2. Evolution of the author's WearComp and WearCam inventions. (a) The large head-mounted CRT and separate inbound and outbound communications antennae used during the late 1970s, until 1981, were awkward. (b) Waist-mounted televisions of the mid-1980s were a somewhat more comfortable display means but were not constantly in view for the wearer. (c) Small viewfinders from consumer video cameras of the late 1980s made possible an eyeglass-based system, upgraded and improved throughout the early 1990s. (d) Apparatus using newer solid-state imaging technology. (e) First covert embodiment of the WearComp/WearCam invention, built in 1995. This project is ongoing. Fig. 3. Mysterious ceiling domes of wine-dark opacity are visible in this photometric image composite made from 117 images the author captured using a covert embodiment of his WearComp/WearCam invention. He situated the "exploding point" (opposite of vanishing point) to create the visual sense that one of the domes was looming overhead. The photographic collages of Hockney  (as well mosaics from aerial photography made by Tony Longson and many others) are similar to the author's photometric image composites, except that Hockney's emphasize the cubism afforded by collaging multiple pictures of the same scene, shot from various perspectives, while the author uses his Video Orbits algorithm (proposed in Ref. ) to remove all manner of cubism and present a seamless photometric image composite that has a single unified perspective. (Photo and performance June 1995) Fig. 4. Wearable Wireless Webcam, 1995. (a) Raw unedited feed from camera presented as a sequence of still images read from left to right, top to bottom. At the MIT bookstore, a person claiming to be a representative of the bookstore is informing the author that he is not allowed to take pictures in the establishment, but the individual declined to identify himself and did not appear to be wearing a name tag or any other I.D. (b) Virtual camera allows viewers on the WWW to select effective camera direction independent of the direction the wearer's gaze and effective shutter speed, exposure, etc., independent of the actual exposure selection at time of shooting, because photometric image information (as shown in Fig. 3) is captured. Fig. 5. Construction of an embodiment of the "Maybe Camera" concept, 1996. The ostensible altruism contained in the message (note how the word "your" is boldfaced) directly "reflects" the signs typically posted on the entrances to department stores and the like (e.g. "For your protection, you are being videotaped"). Fig. 6. Author wearing a realization of Maybe Camera---Who's Paranoid? 1996. Just as the author does not know what is in the mysterious ceiling dome of wine-dark opacity above his head, and therefore has to be on his best behavior at all times, so too the shopkeeper does not know what is inside the author's shirt, and likewise must be on his or her best behavior at all times. Fig. 7. Firing Squad, 1996. One of the group is wearing a camera with transmitter, but no one in the group knows who has the real shirt (i.e. the one with the transmitter). Therefore, no one is guilty of knowingly taking pictures within this establishment. Fig. 8. Primitive Identity established through a permanent/semi-permanent bonding with a prosthetic device, 1996. (Left eye was held closed during photograph to prevent damage from unmediated electronic flash.) In this piece, the older (more primitive) apparatus seen in Fig. 2c was chosen because it was the most amenable to a longer term "cyborgian bonding." Bonding with a past device was found to be easy---the mapping was re-learned quickly. Fig. 9. The author (at left), together with the rest of the "SafetyNet," 1995. Such SafetyNets may engage in collective Diffusionist performance pieces. Some of the units worn by the participants are NETworked via TCP/IP, to work together to increase safety and reduce crime, but not all these units are on, transmitting images. Can you tell which ones are operational? In some sense, this collection of "Maybe Cameras" (i.e. one does not know which ones are transmitting) is a Reflectionist questioning of Bentham's Panopticon. Just as surveillance puts the prisoner on his or her best behavior at all times, the "Maybe Cameras" could be used to put police officers, department store owners and other officials on their best behavior at all times.Running Footer: Mann, Reflectionism and Diffusionism