The Hidden City: From Surveillance to Sousveillance

A hack day and workshop with !Mediengruppe Bitnik through the hidden San Francisco.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
730 Montgomery St., San Francisco, 94111 United States


July 12, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm America/Los Angeles (UTC-08:00)



Contemporary artists !Mediengruppe Bitnik show two examples of how hacking is translated from computers into an artistic practice. They demonstrate how to hack the opera in 10 easy steps and what happens when you send a parcel with a hidden webcam to Julian Assange. In the afternoon, explore the hidden city of San Francisco and venture from surveillance to sousveillance—the recording of an activity by a participant in it. Equipped with closed-circuit TV (CCTV) video signal receivers, attempt to track the surveillance cameras around you using homemade tools to capture and display the signals, thus making them visible and recordable.


2:00 pm   workshop at swissnex San Francisco
3:00 pm   explore the city


!Mediengruppe Bitnik

!Mediengruppe Bitnik (read – the not Mediengruppe Bitnik) live and work in Zurich and London. Using hacking as an artistic strategy, their works re-contextualize the familiar to allow for new readings of established structures and mechanisms.
They have been known to intervene in London’s surveillance space by hijacking CCTV cameras and replacing the video images with an invitation to play chess. In early 2013, !Mediengruppe Bitnik sent a parcel to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The parcel contained a camera that broadcast its journey through the postal system live on the internet. They call this work a system_test and a live mail art piece.

Visit their website:



Photo: Myleen Hollero

Event Photos