60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC
Jenny Marketou: "Flying Spy Potatoes: Mission with the Red Balloon Cam Apparatus"
15 October 2005 16:39 PM

If you see something, say something … or play something? If in today’s surveillance culture hidden and not-so-hidden cameras are ubiquitous, citizens daily acquiescing their rights to privacy and to act suspicious, perhaps it’s high time to have a little fun with the spies. Jenny Marketou is doing just that, invoking the eighties pop song "99 Red Balloons" and 19th-century reconnaissance inflatables in this video transmission project, in which willing participants signed out ninety-nine camera-equipped red balloons and floated them around Chelsea. Rather than being unwittingly spied on, viewers offer themselves up as dérive subjects, their journeys broadcast live back to screens set up in Eyebeam Atelier. Paired with these leisurely strolls are Marketou’s own balloon-recorded travels through heavily watched areas like the World Trade Center site, where no doubt her watching was itself being watched.

—Lori Waxman
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