RealMan — the surveillance reality manipulator

interactive video installation for recomposing surveillance footage

RealMan, the Surveillance Reality Manipulator, is an experience to stimulate exploration into the authenticity and effectiveness of surveillance and its ubiquitous presence in modern society. The interactive video installation consists of a MIDI control keyboard and an image display. The user plays the keys and manipulates in real-time the action on the surveillance display, recreating the surveyed event in infinitely different configurations.


The display shows surveillance video of a department store. The initial view is a static background that is empty and void of activity. The video view can be controlled in real-time via the MIDI input keyboard. Each keyboard key triggers a particular video clip to be superimposed into the space. These clips are ‘sprites’, unique characters extracted from the surveilled space and layered onto the background.


pdf project documentation 550kB

   video demo 47Mb



Developed in collaboration with Uli Schmidts and Rajender Valapureddy
Exhibited at the St. Petri Kirche, Lübeck 2004