Algorithms are already looking through the viewfinder alongside with you: they adjust settings, scan faces and take a photo when you smile. What if your grin wasn’t the only thing they cared about?
Camera Restricta is a speculative design of a new kind of camera. It locates itself via GPS and searches online for photos that have been geotaggednearby.
If the camera decides that too many photos have been taken at your location, it retracts the shutter and blocks the viewfinder. You can’t take any more pictures here.
The name Camera Restricta is a reference to the Camera Obscura, the first photographic camera. It is a speculation on a possible new generation of cameras where the once obedient tool becomes an authority.
This doesn’t even have to be a physical camera you decide to buy. The functionality might as well be included in a software update, transforming your smartphone into a camera restricta.
The project is not only a piece about censorship in a policital sense, but also questions our photographic practice. With digital photography displacing film, taking pictures has essentially become free, resulting in an infinite stream of imagery.
Camera Restricta introduces new limitations to prevent an overflow of digital imagery. As a byproduct, these limitations also bring about new sensations like the thrill of being the first or last person to photograph a certain place.