Coded: Surveillance Statement
“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
I believe the current civilized societies of the world are based upon and focused on one thing: fear. Technologies are being developed at an astounding rate to monitor and track the public at large all in the name of safety. The intent of these technologies is to seek out potential threats before they arise. In a time where information and ideas can cross the globe instantly, everyone is potentially a threat. Governments around the world are now currently attempting to implement ways to track, monitor, and analyze their citizens. The technology is already here. In the U.S., the government is already trying to pass laws and acts to make biometric based identification a reality without the general public being aware of the ramifications.
The questions that arise from this are many. How far into our private lives will this monitoring invade? Will it actually make us safer? What is the cost of implementing such technology? What will be done with all of the information collected? Who is watching the watchers?
In this series of work I explore our near-future society based on surveillance. It is my idea of what could happen when all private information is made available quickly and easily. I leave the viewer with an open ended question: “What happens when a system of this scale is abused, corrupted, and exploited?”
Security is only truly based on how long it can hold out from a focused attack, internally or externally.
In this series of work I explore three main ideas: Fear, Observation, and Instinct.
I do this by focusing on the way numbers control and represent a human and how inversely, a human represents a number. In these images, I blend barcodes with self portraits. The bar code represents tracking systems, dehumanizing automation, efficiency, and commodities that are so important in this day and age. Essentially you are a “slave to the number.”
These images question our individuality in a world that feeds on a constant stream of data. On a large scale are we nothing more than just a series of random numbers inside ever-growing databases? Are you nothing more than your Credit Card number? Your Driver’s License number? Social Security number? PIN codes? Phone number? RFID tags? We are acquiring new numbers to track us every day. As an individual are you worth the sum of your numbers… what are you worth?
Using a variety of media such as plastic, vinyl, Photography, and Digital prints, I exaggerate the way numbers have subtly infiltrated our lives and suppressed our natural instincts. I believe it is human instinct to recoil against following the status quo, but at the same time fear not following it. It is my fear that we will fall victim one day to this system of numbers once it has been corrupted and exploited. It is my fear that this day will arrive sooner than later. This is the price we all pay for living in the society we have created.
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