Welcome to The Nor, a series of essays by James Bridle commissioned by the Hayward Gallery in 2014/5. In order, the essays are: All Cameras Are Police Cameras, Living in the Electromagnetic Spectrum, and Low Latency, as well as an Epilogue. These are accompanied by photographs and a map, and additional content can be found throughout this site.

Walk One: The Opening

October 27, 2014 | Walk One,Walking | Tags: , , ,


This week I will undertake the first walk of the Nor, a journey around London’s Congestion Charging Zone, the oculus of automated surveillance.

For the background on ANPR and automated surveillance in London and Britain, see this article I wrote in 2013: How Britain exported next-generation surveillance.

Initially installed in 2003, the CC Zone consists of over 700 cameras which monitor and record the details of all vehicles which pass through it. While it was promised that this system would only be used for traffic reduction, in 2007 the government signed a certificate of exemption that grants the Metropolitan Police permission to record and store all data from the cameras, twenty-four hours a day.

[Image source: Rorschmap]


  1. Have you undertaken the first walk of the Nor yet then?

    Comment by Claire — November 5, 2014 @ 9:18 pm
  2. Yes – and I’m currently writing it up…

    Comment by admin — November 6, 2014 @ 9:37 am

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