James Bridle's #Rorschcam paints a CCTV picture of New York

Choose any NYC traffic camera to create a trippy portrait of the city that unfolds in real time

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Via STML6
Via Flickr / @STML

The Rorschach test were originally used as a psychological assessment, so what happens when you turn an entire city into a huge, hallucinogenic inkblot?

Artist, writer and New Aesthetic founder James Bridle (who did a takeover on Dazed last year) used CCTV cameras mounted all over New York by the Department of Transportation to create #Rorschcam, a beautifully psychedelic portrait of the city that unfolds with real-time images of traffic. You can choose from a selection of different New York traffic intersections, from Columbus Circle to Union Square. Seriously, it's like the best, most relevant Magic Eye ever.

Bridle created the project as part of his three-month residency at Eyebeam, a Manhattan-based centre for critical art and technology. 

"I'm always interested in the way in which technology shapes our understanding of the world, and in particular how surveillance and power operate through technology - whether that's military drones or Google Maps," Bridle told Dazed. "When I saw the traffic cameras they seemed perfect for another in the rorsch-series. These sites are playful and fun, but for me they also point at the constructed nature of these points of view: Google Maps is not 'just' a map, these are not 'just' CCTV cameras: they're part of very large, automated, information-gathering systems, which are made with intent, and effect the daily lives of all of us. "

Go forth and take a trip round NYC now. And if you want to see a Rorschach view of London, Bridle's also got one using Google Street View – it's called Rorschmap: Street View Edition.

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From #Rorschcam
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