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