The Traveller

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Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive #10 New York City, USA 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

Project by Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

For more than 13 years I have been tracing the spheres of public webcams: cameras installed in public or private spaces that automatically record images and spread them via the Internet.

I research where they are located, travel there, and get myself photographed. I was in New York and Moscow, in Las Vegas, London, and Novosibirsk. I went to more than 600 webcams in 17 countries. So far.

In New York, I was taken into police custody after standing around in front of a traffic webcam, later to be interrogated by the FBI.

Once I arrive at a webcam location, I place myself in front of the camera. As The Traveller, I stare back into the camera. Same clothes, same pose, every time. A bright shirt and a shoulder bag. You can recognize me in every image. You can watch me.

I contact a photographer to take my picture with a screenshot to preserve the transmitted data.

A lot of questions arise. Who sets up these automated cameras, and why? What do they show? Are people aware of them? Who needs these images? Who looks at them? Does the presence of a camera alter a site? What constitutes a photographic image in terms of authorship or quality?

The Traveller project examines borders of private and public grounds, global spread of imagery between irrelevance, information and surveillance, and the aesthetics involved.

Among many other places, The Traveller encountered the legendary coffee machine the world’s first webcam was pointed at, the European Space Agency (ESA) main control room, a huge cactus observed by four cameras, numerous street corners and backyards, and the inside of a New York police station—
arrested for strange behavior.

 

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Abbey Road, London, England, 2007 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Altstadt, Meersburg, Germany, 2011 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Aubagne, France, 2003 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Auberge de Jeunesse, Nimes, France, 2011 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Basement Laundry Room, Dorsten, Germany, 2011 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Black Bear, Hannover, Germany, 2011 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Boardwalk, Belmar NJ, USA, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Brückenkopfgebäude Ost, Linz, Austria, 2009 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Bundesstrasse 1, Bochum, Germany, 2004 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Cafe Einstein, Vienna, Austria, 2009 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Cafe Niveau Gogo Bar, Linz, Austria, 2009 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Camden National Bank, Camden ME, USA, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Centre Equestre Les Arnelles, Saintes Maries de la Mer, France, 2012 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Chemistry and physics faculty, TU Dortmund University, Germany, 2013 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Christ’s Resurrection Church, Kaunas, Lithuania, 2010 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany, 2005 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Düsseldorf Airport, Germany, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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East Hampton, Long Island, USA, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Eglise de Lambesc, France, 2012 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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European Space Operations Centre, Darmstadt, Germany, 2006 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland, 2004 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Frenckell Square, Tampere, Finland, 2005 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Friedrich Ebert Strasse, Bottrop, Germany, 2013 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Front Door, Dortmund, Germany, 2007 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Garden Door, Eggersdorf, Germany, 2006 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Glorieta de Quevedo, Madrid, Spain, 2007 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Golfpark, Otelfingen, Switzerland, 2003 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Gooch’s Beach, Kennebunk ME, USA, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Greenwich Village, New York City, USA, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Happy Wash, Strasbourg, France, 2003 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Harbour, Juist Island, Germany, 2007 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Haus des Meeres, Vienna, Austria, 2012 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Historic Battlefield, Gettysburg, USA, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Kalverstraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 2006 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Kielce, Poland, 2006 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Lenin Square, Novosibirsk, Russia, 2013 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Leuthener Strasse, Berlin, Germany, 2011 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Lindener Markt, Hannover, Germany, 2011 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, 2012 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

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Main Street, Concord NH, USA, 2002 © Jens Sundheim and Bernhard Reuss

 

Jens Sundheim studied photography at University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Dortmund and University of Plymouth in Exeter, England. He lives in Dortmund, Germany and works wherever his travels lead him.
www.jens-sundheim.de | www.the-traveller.org

Bernhard Reuss studied photography at University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Dortmund. He has numerous works with the camera obscura and has recently engaged in a gallery project. He lives and works in Wiesbaden, Germany.
www.the-traveller.org

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