Navigating a World of Ubiquitous Surveillance Through Jakub Geltner’s ‘Nest’ Installations

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As we journeyed through the year 2022, could we claim to experience any moments of true solitude? Our faithful companions, the omnipresent smartphones, trailed our every movement, monitored our viewing preferences, recorded our call histories, and even predicted our shopping desires.

Morte: Jakub Geltner

Yet, this intrusive surveillance didn’t stop at the boundaries of our phone screens – it seeped into our computers and television sets. Amidst the conveniences and luxuries offered by these technological marvels, we’re compelled to ponder – do the benefits outweigh the privacy we forfeit? Jakub Geltner attempts to shine a spotlight on this pressing issue through his evocative series of public installations, christened “Nest.”

Initiated in 2011, Geltner has since birthed a total of seven installations under the “Nest” umbrella, scattered across the globe. The series took flight with “Nest 01,” an assemblage of surveillance cameras affixed to a wall overlooking a waterfront in Prague. Installations Nest 02, 03, and 07 morph into clusters of satellites, while the others in the series manifest as security cameras. However, the standout installations, by our reckoning, are the fifth and sixth iterations.

“Nest 05” graces a cluster of rocks that jut out into the sea off Denmark’s coast, bedecked with surveillance cameras. Meanwhile, “Nest 06” unveils arguably the most confrontational sculpture to date – a camera-laden pole that looms ominously over a pedestrian pathway, its myriad lenses trained unflinchingly on passersby. Geltner’s installations serve as stark reminders of the relentless surveillance that characterizes our modern existence.


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