[ISEA2011] Panel Statement: John Kim, An­thony Tran & Vasily Tru­bet­skoy – Se­cu­rity Gate 26.11

Panel Statement

Panel: Tyrannies of Participation

Se­cu­rity Gate 26.11 is an Ar­duino-based, in­ter­ac­tive, elec­tronic art­work that de­tects wire­less emis­sions given off by in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing cel­lu­lar and smart­phone trans­mis­sions, wifi, blue­tooth, RFID, and oth­ers. Se­cu­rity Gate 26.11 pro­duces in­di­vid­u­al­ized au­dio­vi­sual re­sponses to these trans­mis­sions. Our lives are sub­jected to daily forms of sur­veil­lance via mech­a­nisms that are less rec­og­niz­able to us as such, pre­cisely be­cause they are not vis­i­ble. Today, wire­less trans­mis­sions are the cor­pus of con­trol and re­pres­sion, as ev­i­denced by so­phis­ti­cated gov­ern­men­tal sys­tems of mass sur­veil­lance and snoop­ing (Car­ni­vore and its vari­ants) and cor­po­rate mon­i­tor­ing (data-min­ing and soft­ware rec­om­men­da­tion sys­tems). Se­cu­rity Gate 26.11 demon­strates how we vol­un­tar­ily par­tic­i­pate in tyran­nies of our own cre­ation. Var­i­ous crit­i­cal the­o­rists have com­mented on how in­ter­ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion is the ide­ol­ogy of cap­i­tal­ist con­sumerism over in­for­ma­tion net­works. By our par­tic­i­pa­tion in in­for­ma­tional net­works (in­clud­ing cell phone usage, on­line brows­ing, email, SMS and oth­ers), we ac­tively vol­un­teer in­for­ma­tion about our­selves to forms of gov­ern­men­tal and cor­po­rate sur­veil­lance. Data are di­rectly and in­di­rectly col­lected about us in our use of these net­works. Se­cu­rity Gate 26.11 ren­ders vis­i­ble these in­vis­i­ble mech­a­nisms of dis­ci­pline and con­trol and doc­u­ments our par­tic­i­pa­tion in pos­si­ble tyran­nies of our own cre­ation. Video: Security Gate 26.11 documentation

  • John Kim is an As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor of New Media The­ory and Prac­tice in the de­part­ment of Media and Cul­tural Stud­ies at Macalester Col­lege (St. Paul, US). Be­fore ar­riv­ing at Macalester, John taught at the Uni­ver­sity of San Fran­cisco, Stan­ford Uni­ver­sity and Williams Col­lege. In ad­di­tion to re­search­ing new media, he is an artist as well and has ex­hib­ited in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tions at mu­se­ums and gal­leries across the United States.
  • An­thony Tran is a new media artist re­sid­ing in Min­neapo­lis, US. His art­works ex­plore and prob­lema­tize the tran­si­tion be­tween con­tem­po­rary hu­mans and fu­ture tech­nolo­gies. He is also a stu­dent at Macalester Col­lege, where his re­search in­ter­ests in­clude cog­ni­tive res­o­nance, vir­tual in­ter­group dy­nam­ics and tag­ging/rec­om­mender sys­tems. tran.tumblr.com
  • Vasily Tru­bet­skoy is a stu­dent of physics and math­e­mat­ics at Macalester Col­lege, St. Paul, US, Past re­search has fo­cused on crys­tal­liza­tion and bio­min­eral sys­tems. His in­ter­ests span both dig­i­tal and ana­log elec­tron­ics.

Full text (PDF) p. 1359-1361