The surveillance coat

Habitgram, by Montreal-based artist Beewoo, is a surveillance coat that the visitor is invited to wear. Inside the coat, several wireless mini-cameras pick up the environment of the wearer. The images are multiplied through video projections on the space walls. While wearing the Habitgram, the participant actually “wears” the space in which (s)he is standing.


As the cameras are positioned so as to rotate the captured images, either vertically, horizontally or at a 90° angle, some participants tried to restore the images to their original position and many others reported experiencing sensations of vertigo while wearing it.

The user in command of this mediated image flow finds himself submerged in it in a discomforting way. Would the media image be so untamable? Drowning in this immersive environment, the viewer constantly attempts to understand its structure and source. Meanwhile, (s)he discovers new ways of exploring the physical architectural space in relation to its multiplied video mirror. Here, being immersed does not prevent the viewer from taking a critical distance towards the artwork. On the contrary, it is the immersion itself that triggers critical observation.