During my 2016 Fellowship at Birmingham Open Media I will continue my collaboration with Lucy Hutchinson to further the work we have been producing in response to the growing surveillance culture. We will be devising creative interventions which aim to circumvent invasive surveillance technology.
These interventions will take a variety of approaches and will not be limited to purely hardware/software based response. In one such intervention we will be taking inspiration from the work of artists such as Adam Harvey and Zach Blas and develop a series of masks that can be worn to obscure faces from these cameras whilst making a political statement.
This project came about through several events. For me interest in this area started in 2015 when I curated the Stealth exhibition at Vivid Projects. This exhibition featured works by six artists that produced work in response to surveillance culture. This included a font by Sang Munn for circumventing text scanning software, a personal drone system by Joseph DeLappe and a film made entirely of CCTV footage by Manu Luksch.
For Hutchinson work in this area began with the This Is What A Feminist Looks like and Paying Artist artworks produced in 2015. These works used facial recognition software together with face-obscuring masks to make political statements. Since 2016, she has been undertaking a residency at Coventry University where she is using the “Media Eyes” at Birmingham New Street station as a focal point to explore the effect of surveillance on behaviour, particularly focusing on themes of participation and consumption.
During the fellowship we will bring together our skills in programming, photography and printmaking and collaboratively examine the increasing collection of audience metrics by surveillance technologies for advertising uses. We intend to further this research by considering resistance scenarios to these technologies and the application of this software into other areas such as threat recognition, art galleries and work spaces.