Eyes upon the street

Eyes on the street

"there must be eyes upon the street, eyes belonging to those we might call the natural proprietors of the street. The building on a street equipped to handle strangers and to insure the safety of both residents and strangers, must be oriented to the street. They cannot turn they backs or blank sides on it and leave it blind."

Jane Jacobs - ("The Death and Life of Great American Cities")

Eyes on the street

Human eyeballs, fake eyes or digital camera?

Why do I blog this? I enjoy that quote from Jane Jacobs and I think about it each time I see eyes painted or tagged as graffitis on the Street of contemporary cities. Especially when I see these eyes in places where the number of pedestrians is quite limited (like the one depicted here found in Brussels). It's as if someone had painted these eyes to remind us that you, as a lonesome pedestrian, are not alone and that you're watched. But not watched by what Jacobs describes, rather by distant and unknown eyes (in a Panopticon way). An interesting sign about this is that sometimes these "sprayed" eyes are represented with a Illuminati-like logo (as if there were a conspiracy against *you*):