A radical livestreaming experiment, investigating the meaning of privacy in our digital age. Two young filmmakers streamed their lives non-stop for 15 days on the VPRO website, supplemented by data on their heart rates, their moods and their real-time geolocations. The livestream was turned into a 4-part documentary series.

1. the stream

15d / 1h / 23m

In August 2015, filmmakers Tim den Besten and Nicolaas Veul livestreamed their lives 24/7 for 15 days, 1 hour and 23 minutes. Anyone could tune in to their lives online and interact with them via Twitter (#ssm15). Fifteen years after Big Brother made Dutch TV history, this experiment wanted to investigate the effects of a total lack of privacy. The emotional effects were worse than anyone expected - the filmmakers stopped livestreaming ahead of the planned end date.

"I never thought I could get nauseous from a device"  

Tim den Besten about the camera

2. the website

live video / real-time datastreams / social media

To enhance the feeling of total exposure, the livestreams on the website were supplemented by live data. Viewers could see Tim and Nicolaas' real-time heartrates (supplied by patches worn on their chests), their current locations and the number of viewers at any time and their tweets. Tim and Nicolaas' moods were illustrated by graphs, their calendars were made public, so viewers could tune in to watch a specific event (eg. Nicolaas at the hairdresser!) and a map showed the routes they had taken in the past three hours.

This map showed the real-time location of Tim and Nicolaas on the website during the livestreaming period

"Livestreaming my life 24/7 made me behave like the lowest common denominator of myself"

Nicolaas Veul

3. the documentary series

4 episodes on dutch tv

In November 2015, a 4-part documentary series was broadcast on Dutch national TV, looking back on the livestreaming experiment. In the episodes, privacy experts, philosophers and psychiatrists reflect on the effects of losing your privacy completely. Watch the dramatic final episode below.

"What Tim and Nicolaas experienced in a pressure cooker, is what we gradually experience as society as a whole. The end result is a melted brain."

Theo Compernolle, neuro psychiatrist


Super Stream Me is a co-production of VPRO and CCCP
sales: sales@vpro.nl

#ssm15 was heavy. Great and confrontational show. Wow, these guys went through hell! Privacy the number 1 necessity of life??

Viewer @kars_havenaar on Twitter