Watching the Detective Watching the Detective

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The conceit is half Blair Witch Project, half Paul Auster; 'Laura,' an artist working as guard at the Vancouver Art Gallery, makes art out of allowing visitors to her website to take charge of the museum's cameras and see what she sees. 'Sometimes I wonder whether more happens because I'm watching or whether events line themselves up for my benefit or something,' she reflects in her first diary entry on the site, dated September 1, 2004. Every few days, something new is posted, including video clips from the day's observations. These have slowly coalesced into a mystery of sorts, as the narrator obsesses over the interactions of the milieu's recurring characters--a detective, a skateboarder, an odd woman. True to that initial entry's promise, as you watch the narrator piece together the clues, you can never be sure whether something is 'really' going on, or whether it's in her head. Nevertheless, all the references to Blow-up, The Conversation and other fictions in which the observer becomes the observed make one guess that Laura's job is about to become even more interesting. . . . - Ben Davis