02. Surveillance and Sound

Why are we doing this?

In an increasingly surveilled/watched world (security cameras, GPS tracking, cell phones documenting events, webcams on personal computers, etc.) think about the border between the personal and the public. When are you being watched, and when are you not? When is surveillance useful, and when is it harmful? How do you alter/change your behavior when you know you’re being filmed? Do you ever forget you’re being filmed? Other ideas to explore could include the NSA, control, security, borders, airports, drones, social media, transparency, visibility, exposure

It is important to be able to be critical of these ideas related to surveillance, so we can be informed citizens and artists.

This project will also give us a chance to further apply our editing skills and incorporate personal views and concepts. We will be paying special attention to sound – the project must include only asynchronous sound, meaning the sounds must not be the sounds that were originally recorded with the video footage.

How are we doing this?

  1. Brainstorm your subject matter, what you want to say about it, and how. Spend time thinking about how you will use asynchronous sound. Get your idea approved before proceeding.
  2. Develop a storyboard of thumbnail sketches to determine each shot of your video and sound work. It must be at least 1 minute long, and no longer than two minutes long. Make sure to consider context.
  3. Shoot, and or collect, the footage and audio. Follow all the guidelines we’ve covered in class so far.
  4. Edit the video – remember that it can only include asynchronous sound (the sounds must not be the sounds that were originally recorded with the video footage). Art and Design majors must use Adobe Premiere. Non-majors can just any software they like.
  5. Screening of the documentaries will take place. Take notes on the feedback – you are allowed to improve your documentary for a higher grade after critique.

Things to consider as you plan

Think about the elements and principles of 4D art and design, and be sure to use these ideas to your advantage – explain your choices. Be ready to discuss your subject, form, content, and context.

Think about the ethics of watching people; some subject matter might not be approved for use if it infringes on others.

Sounds cannot be music from a recognized band or source.


  • Ability to follow directions
  • Evidence of time investment
  • Creativity – did you push yourself?
  • Did you clearly consider subject/form/content/context?
  • Self-reflection