[ISEA2011] Panel: Hasan Elahi – Data Cam­ou­flage

Panel Statement

Panel:  If You See Something Say Something: Art, War, Surveillance and the Sustainability of Urgency in the Post 9/11 Era

With the re­cent tran­si­tion from sol­diers wear­ing con­ven­tional cam­ou­flage in war­fare to dig­i­tal pix­els on their bat­tle uni­forms, we no longer have a need for the sol­diers to blend into the land­scape of war­fare, but in­stead  we need them to blend into the ma­chin­ery of war­fare – namely the dig­i­tal noise in the chip found on night vi­sion gog­gles. With the wide­spread use of house­hold dig­i­tal tools today, for the first time in our cul­ture, we have al­most as many pro­duc­ers of in­for­ma­tion as we have con­sumers. As we gen­er­ate data at a con­tin­u­ally in­creas­ing rate, col­lec­tion of in­for­ma­tion is no longer as im­por­tant as the analy­sis of that in­for­ma­tion. In an age where every­thing is archived and the need to delete is al­most nonex­is­tent, can we hide and re­main pri­vate by gen­er­at­ing dig­i­tal noise of our own?

  • Hasan Elahi is an in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary artist whose work ex­am­ines is­sues of sur­veil­lance, sim­u­lated time, trans­port sys­tems, bor­ders and fron­tiers. His work has been pre­sented in nu­mer­ous ex­hi­bi­tions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Cen­tre Georges Pom­pi­dou, Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val, Kas­sel Kul­tur­bahn­hof, The Her­mitage, and at the Venice Bi­en­nale. Elahi re­cently was in­vited to speak about his work at the Tate Mod­ern, Ein­stein Forum, and at the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence. His awards in­clude grants from the Cre­ative Cap­i­tal Foun­da­tion, a Ford Foun­da­tion/Phillip Mor­ris Na­tional Fel­low­ship, and an artist grant from the Aso­cia­cion Artetik Berrikuntzara in Donos­tia-San Se­bas­t­ian, Spain. His work is fre­quently in the media and has been cov­ered by The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, Al Jazeera, Fox, and has ap­peared on The Col­bert Re­port. He is cur­rently As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor of Art at Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land. He is a 2010 Alpert/Mac­Dow­ell Fel­low and in 2009, he was Res­i­dent Fac­ulty and Nancy G. Mac­Grath En­dowed Chair at Skowhe­gan School of Paint­ing and Sculp­ture.