Keeping watch

A public art installation in Spain employed red flashing lights to start a conversation about the role of government in a democratic society.

Luzinterruptus, a Spanish artistic collective, created a temporary public installation in Madrid to start a conversation and stimulate a debate about the role of government in society.

“Politicians under Surveillance” installed 75 fake security cameras, with red lights that flash intermittently, around posters and advertisements used by politicians and political parties for their election campaigns.

The lights were aimed at the campaign material and worked as “a simulation of the surveillance of politicians, with the aim of generating debate or simply a thought among the people”.

Luzinterruptus reasons that it is the markets that ultimately have the power to keep politicians and governments in check. The equipment the designers pointed at the political campaigns allowed passersby to “observe from close-up the faces [of the politicians] that were touched up for the photos”.

The goal with the installation, the designers say on their website, was to make people “reflect for a moment about this alarming situation of the harassment of democracy”.