Surveillance continues to be an inspiration and investigation for artists and designers in the second decade of the new millennium. Taking a decidedly sunnier, DIY-approach, two French designers created an Etsy shop called Filez Doux to continue this exploration through cardboard art. Crafting and selling handmade versions of surveillance cameras made from discarded cardboard, Filez Doux say they are inspired by the pervasiveness of security culture. Although their real names are partially hidden by their moniker, the Lille-based duo (whose real names are listed as Sylvain and Hélène) create works which avoid the typically-negative tone of most work focusing on the encroaching surveillance state.
Beginning the series by playfully creating a light-post made of cardboard for their apartment, the duo began to look around their streets for another inspiration to replicate with used materials. Settling on a security camera, there was seemingly little message behind the first camera created. As the duo explains, “The first one Sylvain made was very realistic and bigger than an actual camera. At first, it was strange to have it in the living room. I sometimes caught myself glancing at it, as if it could be a real one spying on us. Before we knew it, there were 2, 3, then 4 security cameras! Some serious, some fun, some small, some big.” Each camera takes roughly ten hours to complete, and each is a singular construction, as the duo never reuses a design.
Although they lightly suggest otherwise (an asterisk to their name informs visitors to “keep a low profile“), Filez Doux seem more infused with energy from the re-purposed material and the meticulous replications of their work rather than the social commentary. However, it is evident that surveillance is becoming a larger, more widespread issue if popular culture can so easily recognize and reference the camera as ubiquitous and inescapable in our daily lives. (via junk culture & etsy)