chapter  2
Subverting surveillance
Power and incivility in public transit art
ByMartha Radice, Brenden Harvey
Pages 20

This chapter analyses Time Transit as a work of counter-surveillance. It draws on sociological studies of surveillance and 'artveillance' to identify four key concepts, visibility, location, technology and participation. The chapter shows how the text messages sent to Time Transit disrupted the ambience of urban civility that normally reigns on public transport. Although the bus company demanded a degree of censorship of the messages, some got through that were quite offensive — sexist, racist or homophobic. Using concepts from urban sociology and gender studies, the chapter also shows how the unusual technological conditions of production of these messages (anonymity, mediation, and ephemerality), combined with generalized hegemonic masculinity, allowed certain Time Transit contributors to breach the normal social order of the bus. The chapter concludes by considering what implications Time Transit, as an artwork that enabled socially controversial interactivity, has for public art.