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.