Looking At: Looking Into

Looking At: Looking Into is a series of short motion pictures on the subject of Mediated Voyeurism. Mediated Voyeurism is the act of consuming voyeuristic content through means of a 3rd party, most typically through a mass media outlet such as: television, radio, newsprint or internet. The films were presented within hand-crafted Mutoscopes, a primitive exhibition device popular before the advent of the film-projector. Mutoscopes are essentially a box with a ‘peep hole’ attached. A viewer looks into the device and turns a crank which animates a  motion-picture. Looking At: Looking Into will paint a typical portrait of Mediated Voyeurism from today’s media. The viewer will look at these shorts and instantly recognize them as familiar, something they see everyday and are likely complacent with. The film’s presentation within a Mutoscope greatly amplifies its already voyeuristic nature, because of the divergent formal properties Mutoscopes have over traditional media systems. Mutoscopes require the viewer to be an active and willing participant in the content they are consuming, by choosing to look into the ‘Peep Hole’ the viewer is committing themselves to a voyeuristic act, and by turning the crank the viewer is actively engaging with the content inside. By making the viewer an active participant in the voyeuristic content they are watching, I am inciting the viewer to be accountable for the content they are consuming. This makes Looking At: Looking Into a commentary on the viewers complacency with Mediated Voyeurism. It is my hope that the combination of voyeuristic content and a participatory means of consumption causes the viewer to reflect on their role in the proliferation of Mediated Voyeurism, and maybe re-examine it.