Visibility of urban electronics

Not really in the field of ‘mobile media’ but here’s an observation Nicolas Nova-style. While being on holiday in France recently I saw these entrance ports in French warehouse chain Auchan.

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I wonder why Auchan made these anti-theft ports transparant? Possibly the visibility of the technology behind this form of surveillance makes people even less inclined to steal stuff..? (“It looks serious so it will surely work well, I’d better watch out..”). Anyhow, transparency is one possible way to visualize the omnipresence of informational devices in urban spaces. Rather than faced with an opaque ‘black box’, we now get a better sense of what networked/informational machines are operational in our presence. I can just imagine these things being built to go off with a spectacular light show when someone tries to steal anything, just to increase public attention and shaming…

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