[-empyre-] week three | locative scraping and counter-surveillance

Michael Takeo Magruder m at takeo.org
Tue Dec 1 10:45:00 AEDT 2015

Hello Dale,

My more recent explorations regarding "the fabrication of truth in news" in
many ways reflect upon the changing nature of journalism in today's data
disclosure/social media culture. Two projects come to mind:
"Insurance.AES256" and "PRISM".

"Insurance.AES256" was produced in 2011 during the height of the
WikiLeaks/Julian Assange controversy for the exhibition "All That Fits: The
Aesthetics of Journalism" (QUAD, UK). The project sought to consider not
only this particular story, but more importantly, to question how
organisations like WikiLeaks and personalities like Assange now have the
ability to shift/subvert journalistic practice in ways that can be either
beneficial or problematic for society. 

The second work, "PRISM" was commissioned in 2014 by the UK theatre company
Headlong to coincide with their (now internationally acclaimed) production
of George Orwell's "1984". The artwork sought to draw comparisons between
Edward Snowden and Orwell's fictional protagonist Winston Smith - as both
could be considered 'everymen' of their generation. The installation's
central component was created from algorithmically remixed interview footage
of Snowden combined with flickering snapshots of his disclosed data. This
endless video montage provided a narrative for the work, while the
surrounding elements of the installation incorporated shifting streams of
live personal data that had been scraped from the social media sites which
were being targeted by the NSA's mass surveillance programmes.  However, the
point of the work was not just to reflect on the present concerns over
privacy and surveillance, but also to consider how the "truth" surrounding
any individual can now be fabricated. To quote Snowden: "...it's getting to
the point where you don't have to have done anything wrong. You simply have
to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody - even by a wrong call. And
then they can [] go back in time and scrutinize every decision you've ever
made, every friend you've ever discussed something with. And attack you on
that basis to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint
anyone in the context of a wrongdoer..."


All That Fits: The Aesthetics of Journalism


Headlong - Digital Double 

Michael Takeo Magruder

-----Original Message-----
From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
[mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au] On Behalf Of Dale Hudson
Sent: 24 November 2015 20:09
To: soft_skinned_space
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] week three | locative scraping and

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