Caroline Buttet

Virtual Peephole

Explore unsecured camera feeds around the world with Virtual Peephole

There are an estimated 770 million surveillance cameras around the world. Some of them still have their default password, making them easily accessible by anyone who has an internet connection.

This virtual peephole is a device to watch some of those unsecured cameras. Each time the peephole is opened, a different camera is shown.

This installation is (in real life) a wooden box with a door hole, through which you can view unsecured camera feeds.


Caroline Buttet will give a talk about this project at PrivacyWeek.


View Virtual Peephole

PApTCHA, is a project that formally exists in the design interface of Google’s reCAPTCHA test. The content includes unique pieces of language artworks that act as a commentary on the ubiquitous phrases that online users encounter in the context of digital privacy.

PApTCHA, or: Partially Automated private Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart, takes the design elements from Google’s popular reCAPTCHA test (the Completely Automated Public Turing Test to tell Computers and Humans Apart) and turns it into a main-menu-meets-landing page for the collection language artworks featured in the piece. Specifically, viewers visit these pieces by clicking on the individual squares in the PApTCHA interface. Once inside a page, viewers encounter a term or phrase that is commonly used in digital privacy contexts online. Some of these include: “accept,” “agree,” “allow,” “block,” “continue,” “do not sell,” “do not track,” “I understand,” “your presence on this site,” and “was this information helpful?”

The theoretical foundation for PApTCHA begins with a process of decontextualization into re-contextualization. By pairing UI terms with their IRL linguistic counterparts, the project engages in a critique of digital privacy settings. In doing so, PApTCHA aims to expose the ways users opt to forgo a certain level of privacy in order to visit their preferred sites and to have uninterrupted experiences online and to undercut the notion that one has agency or choice when “managing” these settings.


Qianxun Chen and Meredith Morran will give a talk about this project at PrivacyWeek.