Panopticon is an interactive installation that examines notions of surveillance and control. The installation monitors streams of data sent out by the installations of our fellow students.

Inside is a surveillance booth with a peephole, allowing the surveilling person to peek at another installation’s data, represented in visualizations generated with Processing. The only interface to the black box is a button, which allows the surveillor to cycle through the other data on the network. At random intervals, the data suddenly switches to a real-time infrared camera feed of the surveillor himself, inside the booth. This image is captured, saved and is display on the screen. The surveillor becomes the surveilled.

The project was realized using a platform called Noam, which facilitates sending messages from different hardware on a network. Each installation sends out the same data types, but the values are generated by the interaction of a user inside the installation.

We had four days to design, develop, and deliver this installation. In the process, we dealt with a range of concepts and tools that were new to most of us, some of which were: servers, the Kinect, object-oriented programming, installation set-up, and Noam.

We wrote our code collaboratively. Have a look and fork it on GitHub.