Wenlock and Mandeville: The Joe Camel of laptop video surveillance?

May 21, 2010
By

So my present theory is that Wenlock and Mandeville, the new mascots of the upcoming London Olympics, are a psy-op meant to convince children that the laptop supplied by their high school with the camera inside that’s always watching them is actually their friend. From The Guardian:

“… the mascots were aimed squarely at children and designed with the digital age in mind…. Children will be encouraged to interact with the characters, inviting them via Facebook, Twitter and the web to visit their school…”

Also note this odd detail supplied by the article:

“The unveiling of the bold London Olympics logo in 2007 was controversial, with many criticising its graffiti-like design. Organisers, who hired Wolff Olins at a cost of £400,000 to design it, stood firm, arguing that it was supremely adaptable and perfect for the digital age. But they were forced to withdraw a launch film after it emerged that it had the potential to trigger epileptic seizures.”

The Guardian’s resident expert on architecture, Jonathan Glancey, wrote that the characters’ “cyclopean eyes … may remind many of the lenses of CCTV cameras staring from pretty much every building, station and street corner in the city… .”

UPDATE: As it turns out, Wenlock and Mandeville’s faces ARE in fact supposed to represent camera lenses. From Churmura:

The weird looking mascots have only a single eye, which represents a camera lens. Hence, they can record what they see but they cannot speak or smile.

Here’s Fox News’ Red Eye crew discussing the mascots. Bill Schultz addresses the face that their faces are meant to represent camera lenses:

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