GoPros can be put anywhere, and seem to be everywhere. Like Hoover, Thermos and Sellotape before it, “GoPro” is fast becoming the generic term for all small action cameras. Their rise in popularity seems to indicate a desire to record all previously difficult-to-document experiences, and to share them with the world. “Be A HERO” (the slogan of GoPro Inc) tells us not only to buy a GoPro HERO, but to become the camera. With the right protection there’s nowhere the camera can’t film. With no viewfinder to distract us, we simply strap the camera on and document our experiences.
Not just used for action shots, there is also footage of GoPros filming in unlikely places, allowing us to observe obscure events usually not seen through human eyes. Whether underneath trucks or strapped to the heads of cows – there’s very few undocumented perspectives left in the wake of the GoPro. But when cameras can go anywhere, what are we not seeing?
In the second part of our two-part interview, Martin Kohout discusses his complicated relationship with the camera, the dangers of surveillance and algorithmic image-analysis, and his feelings on the anthropocentric gaze that cameras produce. He speaks with George Michelle about two of his recent videos which address these issues: Sjezd (2015), a playful attempt to make an un-analysable video, comprised of footage from a cameraphone being ground along railings and walls (in a a similar way that a child might idly scrape a stick), and Free Mail (2014) in which the cameraphone peers into letterboxes in the hallways of tenement buildings in Berlin. **
Watch the video embedded above and see here for Part One.
Produced in partnership with Video in Common. This project has been made possible through the generous support of Arts Council England.