The above picture is a still from Barspace.tv - specifically, an image of what was happening at the Queen City Grill in Seattle when I happened to visit the site a few minutes ago. Barspace is a new website that features live feeds from bars in a few states, although not Arizona at the moment. Barspace pays for the cameras, the bar sets the hour the camera is on, and then theoretically, someone can see whether there are people at their favorite drinking establishment. You can see what you're in for at a new place before heading out of the house, or whether the bartender you've been trying to get the number for is working.
That doesn't seem all that bad or sinister, but do we really need to be streamed online while we're trying to relax? Are the minimal benefits that Barspace offers worth another camera following us wherever we go? Sure, quite a few bars have some sort of security or surveillance system, but those cameras aren't streaming online for anyone to see. According to an article in the East Bay Express, the ACLU is calling foul on these cameras on a privacy level, and I can't say I blame them, especially since the bars that have the cameras aren't obligated to let anyone know they're being filmed or broadcast on the internet.
There are few places left where we can kick back and be stupid for a little while. Why take that away? Just say no to Barspace, Tucson.
An exhibition and digital archive, "The Documented Border" is a collaborative initiative at the University of Arizona… More