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False Positives

Published onApr 03, 2017
False Positives

The project False Positives is about intelligent surveillance systems. These are cameras that are able to detect deviant behavior within public space. False Positives is set around the question of normal behavior. It aims to raise this question by basing the project on eight different ‘anomalies’. These so-called anomalies are signs in body language and movement that could indicate criminal intent. It is through these anomalies the algorithms are built and cameras are able to detect deviant behavior. The eight different anomalies were pointed out to me by several intelligent surveillance experts with whom I collaborated for this project. The work consists out of several approaches; photographs and pattern drawings. Altogether these form an analysis of different settings in and around the business district of the European capital: Brussels. The eight anomalies can be found within the images. The viewer is challenged to act as an intelligent surveillance system does and question the behavior of the different people within the photographs. Each photograph is a build-up of several moments; a montage. The timeframes mentioned in relation to each photograph indicate the minutes spent waiting for a contrast to arise between deviant and ‘normal’ behavior. With the use of this method, I aim to relate my photographs to the use of film, considering CCTV and surveillance are strongly related to moving images. Furthermore, this working method has given me the opportunity to concentrate on patterns of movement within bigger time slots.

Regular pattern of movement ‘C’

Regular pattern of movement ‘E’

Regular pattern of movement ‘H’

Regular pattern of movement ‘A’

Regular pattern of movement ‘B’

Regular pattern of movement ‘D’

Regular pattern of movement ‘G’

Regular pattern of movement ‘F’

Regular pattern of movement ‘I’

Regular pattern of movement ‘L’

Anomaly 1, Standing Still

Anomaly 2, Fast Movements

Anomaly 3, Lonely Objects

Anomaly 4, Placement On A Corner

Anomaly 5, Clusters Breaking Apart

Anomaly 6, Synchronized movements

Anomaly 7, Repeatedly looking back

Anomaly 8, Deviant Directions

Overview C, Timeframe: 04 min 26

Overview E, Timeframe: 06 min 02

Overview H, Timeframe: 05 min 44

Overview A, Timeframe: 05 min 33

Overview B, Timeframe: 0 min 04

Overview D, Timeframe: 04 min 35

Overview G, Timeframe: 02 min 17

Overview F, Timeframe: 05 min 07

Overview I, Timeframe: 02 min 13

Overview L, Timeframe: 06 min 09


Esther Hovers is a Dutch photographer who graduated with honours from the Royal Academy of Art in the Hague, the Netherlands. Through her work, she aims to ask questions on how power, politics, and control are exercised through urban planning and the use of public space. She mainly focusses on the way in which social rules – including architectural rules – structure public space. The human experience of this urban space is central to her work. She deals with spaces where power is visually expressed (business centres, airports, stations, etc.). How could one curb the in uence of these spaces on their users? Recent exhibitions of her work include the Exhibition, National Gallery of Prague (CZ), Steenbergen Stipend exhibition at the Dutch Photomuseum, Rotterdam, (NL) Unseen Photo Fair (NL) at Citro n Kunsthal and Festival Circulation(s) (FR).

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