Uncanny Paintings of Surveillance Footage

This post was selected for inclusion in our Future of Art and Work series in December 2016. The series, sponsored by Microsoft Surface, selects some of our best posts exploring the topics of how art and work will look in the 21st century. This post was originally published in March, 2016. 


Using CCTV footage, traffic cams, and other surveillance footage, Houston-based artist William Betts creates pixelated paintings with a CNC printer.


His subjects are oblivious to the cameras watching them. Although the video frames are seemingly mundane, Betts abstracts and deconstructs the images further through his printing process, reflecting the inherent anxiety of “security” cameras.

“I look at images as a collection of data,” the former software industry professional has said. “I use that data, either abstracting it or modifying it or manipulating it, to arrive at the image that I want.”