Posts Tagged ‘surveillance’

I Know Where Your Cat Lives launched

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

I just launched a new ongoing project this week. Here’s the text, a video and some screenshots. I’ll post more about how I made it soon.

Welcome to the today’s internet—you can buy anything, every website is tracking your every move, and anywhere you look you find videos and images of cats. Currently, there are 15 million images tagged with the word “cat” on public image hosting sites, and daily thousands more are uploaded from unlimited positions on the globe.

“I Know Where Your Cat Lives” iknowwhereyourcatlives.com is a data experiment that visualizes a sample of 1 million public pics of cats on a world map, locating them by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer at Florida State University in order to represent the enormity of the data source.

This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all. This website doesn’t visualize all of the cats on the net, only the ones that allow you to track where their owners have been.

Folks can also contribute to a kickstarter to help with hosting costs.

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“The Earth Observation Guide” – Post Media Lab notes

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I’m back from Lüneberg, Germany and already missing the simplicity of traveling by train as well as the pleasure of fine wurst. However I had an engaging few days at the Post Media Lab’s Taking Care of Things!. The event began with a keynote by Kelly Dobson from RISD, followed by a tour of Stadtarchive the next morning. Then we broke off into groups to address various topics around archives, art, media, and politics.

I worked in the Measure Drones group with colleagues, Kristian Lukic, Moritz Queisner, Boaz Levin, Daniel Herleth, Adam Kaplan, Frédéric Eyl, and Oliver Lerone Schultz (one of the coordinators of Taking Care of Things along with Christina Kral). Together, over the course of two days, we worked together to conceive, research, write, illustrate, and design a booklet called “The Earth Observation Guide.” This is not a history of art about drones, nor does it try to tackle the whole subject. Rather it is more akin to a time capsule that preserves a moment in time before drones are widespread. It acts as a guidebook, recording what is known about their past and present, illustrating shifts and concerns, and addressing how humans might understand their future. Here are some images of the presented work on the third day:

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I also somehow managed to get my mug in the newspaper in Lüneberg. I think it says “American professor launching spy drones in Germany” or some such thing.

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The group examining 16th century drawings of salt mines from the archive.

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Taking Care of Things! Archives, Life-Cycles, Care, Lüneberg, Germany

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Excited to be heading to Lüneberg, Germany, tomorrow for this conference organized jointly by Habits of Living (Brown University, CIS Bangalore) and the Post-Media Lab in conjunction with Stadtarchiv Lüneburg.

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January 15-18
Taking Care of Things!
Archives – Life-Cycles – Care
organized by Post-Media Lab/CDC and Habits of Living in cooperation with the Stadtarchiv Lüneburg

Venue: Stadtarchiv Lüneburg, Germany

From the perspective of current theoretical approaches the figure of the archive seems to have lost its central status and its fever. Meanwhile, in our medial and cultural set-up new (kinds of) archives seem to crop up everywhere, accelerated by new means of production and distribution. Cultural repertoires are being remixed alongside technological repositories – often giving new life to almost forgotten relics. Ever more things, valuables, processes, projects, constituencies, even movements, need to be taken care of. It is not only cultural and critical theory that is being challenged, but also law, the natural sciences and design, alongside other applied sciences. But what are the complex dynamics and contexts of these new (non-)archives? Do they really make sense? And if so, by and for whom?

To address these questions, ‘Taking Care of Things!’ focuses on the transformation of things – analog and digital – into life-cycles and specific practices of care. This will be done in different thematic groups dealing with topics, like Mesh Media!, Civil Archaeology, Measure Drones, Unearthing the Archive, Translating Ontologies and Extinction in Context.

This workshop will address such fundamental changes in archiving and objects by generating practices and chances to take care of things. That is, we will seek to extend (or sometimes end) the life-cycle of objects not by simply preserving them (this usually guarantees they will be forgotten), but rather through acts that respond, react, and/or reuse.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will be based at and operating from the Stadtarchiv Lüneburg, the city’s rich and still to-be-further-explored archive, headed by Danny Kolbe.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will start Wednesday evening (Jan 15) with a public talk by Kelly Dobson (Brown University) and followed by short introductions by Oliver Lerone Schultz, Nishant Shah and Wendy Chun to set the scene for the following days. Clemens Apprich together with Marcell Mars will then turn the evening into a Public Library, offering the first charge of Post-Media Lab publications as free downloads.

Thursday and Friday (Jan 16-17) will be reserved for intensive exchanges and workshops among the invited participants, all of whom deal very differently and critically with post-medial (non-)archives. There will be the opportunity to interface with the Lüneburg public, assembling archival objects of different kinds. On Saturday (Jan 18) all these activities will culminate in a public presentation and fair under the umbrella of ‘Parliament of Things’ held at the Stadtarchiv.

‘Taking Care of Things!’ will create multiple interweavings not only with the rich repository of the Stadtarchiv, but also with the multiple potentials of existing and new collaborations around the Center for Digital Cultures – possibly starting some repositories that will carry on into a future, where the Post-Media Lab will have been supplanted by other, new life-cycles.​

‘Taking Care of Things!’ is a collaborative event between Habits of Living (Brown University, CIS Bangalore) and the Post-Media Lab in conjunction with Stadtarchiv Lüneburg.
This event will mark the conclusion of the first life-cycle of the Post-Media Lab by bringing together former fellows and new participants.

Among the participants are: Adnan Hadzi and James Steven (DeckspaceTV), Femke Snelting and Michael Murtaugh (Constant/Active Archives), Eric Kuitenberg and David Garcia (Tactical Media Files), Boaz Levin and Daniel Herleth and Adam Kaplan (The Rise of Data), Fabian Giraud and Inigo Wilkins (Glass Bead), Jonathan Kemp and Martin Howse („Stack, Frame, Heap –SFH)”, as well as Memory of the World (Marcell Mars), Mathias Fuchs (Gamification Lab), Cornelia Sollfrank (Giving What You Don´t Have), Hauke Winkler (Freifunk Lüneburg), Robert Ochshorn (InterLace), Tapio Makela (M.A.R.I.N.) [had to cancel bec of illness], Fabrizio Augusto Poltronieri (MaisZero), Rodrigo Novaes (Flusser Archiv/UdK), Owen Mundy, Kristian Lukic (NAPON), Vahida Ramujkic (irational), Volker Grasmuck (CDC/Grundversorgung 2.0), Kilian Froitzhuber (netzpolitik.org), Vincent Normand, Jeremy Lecomte, Ida Soulard, Erich Berger, Connie Mendoza, and more.

Coordination & Care
Christina Kral: christina.kral@inkubator.leuphana.de
Oliver Lerone Schultz: oschultz@leuphana.de

Team
Wendy Chun, Nishant Shah, Clemens Apprich, Josie Berry Slater, Anthony Iles; and Nora Hannemann, Sina Hurnik, Nina Kersten, Ann-Kathrin Wagner, Nicolas Schrape

CYBER IN SECURITIES, Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Washington, DC

Friday, August 9th, 2013

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clockwise l to r: Ricarada McDonald and Donna Szoke, and all watched over by machines of loving grace; Birgit Bachler, Walter Langelaar, Owen Mundy, and Tim Schwartz, Commodify.us; Lexie Mountain, Ball Hard; Whitefeather, Parent Folder

CYBER IN SECURITIES
Dates: August 30 – September 27, 2013
Location: Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Curated by: Lisa Moren, Professor, Department of Visual Art, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Participating Artists: Birgit Bachler, Walter Langelaar, Owen Mundy, and Tim Schwartz; Channel TWo (CH2): Adam Trowbridge and Jessica Westbrook, with Jesus Duran; Heather Dewey-Hagborg; Hasan Elahi; The Force of Freedom with Dave Young; Taylor Hokanson; Ricarda McDonald and Donna Szoke; Lexie Mountain; Preemptive Media; David Rokeby; Julia Kim Smith; and WhiteFeather

Opening Reception: Friday, August 30, 2013, 6-8pm
Exhibition Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 12pm-4pm

Experimental Media Video Screening Series
Juried by Jason Eppink, Associate Curator of Digital Media, Museum of the Moving Image, New York

Experimental Media Video Series Night One: Thursday, September 12, 2013, 6:30pm
Location: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC

Experimental Media Video Series Night Two: Monday, September 24, 2013, 6:30pm
Location: The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, 500 17th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Experimental Media Symposium: Saturday, September 21, 2013
Location: Pepco Edison Place Gallery, 702 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC

Experimental Media 2013 will explore security, privacy, and surveillance in the digital age, through a gallery exhibition, video screenings series, and panel discussion.

Robot self-portraits #3-7

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Robot self-portrait #3 (Disneyland)

Robot self-portrait #4 (Disneyland)

Robot self-portrait #5 (Disneyland)

Robot self-portrait #6 (Dublin)

Robot self-portrait #7 (Golden Gate Bridge)

“Google” one-week performance at Transmediale

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

I am tele-participating in a one-week online performance of Google queries at Transmediale 2012 in Berlin. The project, plainly titled, “Google,” is organized by Johannes P. Osterhoff and will run from Jan 30 to Feb 5, 2012. Each participant edits the search method for their browser search bar so that everything they type in this box, from the personal to the mundane, becomes instantly visible at google-performance.org.

The project (“manifesto” below) makes public what Facebook, Google, and any online search engine, crowdsourcing website, or social network already does by harvesting searches from users, and re-representing that data in a new context. While Google uses these queries to build and sell condensed user demographic data to advertisers, Osterhoff’s project asks, who actually owns your search data?

We shall do an one-week performance piece.

The piece is called “Google” and documents all searches we perform withthe search engine of the same name.

The performance shall take place during transmediale 2012 and shall start on Monday, January 30 and shall end on Sunday, February 5, 2012.

We shall not use undocumented ways to use the search engine Google during this time.

Each of our search queries shall create a web page that is indexed by this search engine and thus makes our searches publicly available as search results for everybody.

 

Robot self-portrait #1-2

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

Robot self-portrait #1 (Tallahassee)

Robot self-portrait #2 (Tallahassee)

A Single Composite [vert]

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Finally finding time to edit documentation from A Single Composite exhibition this summer in Berlin.

A Single Composite is a series of kinetic installations and projection apparatuses that stretch, twist, and loop film strips containing declassified and other found reconnaissance footage. Using reconstituted digital printer chassis, this cinematic enterprise is projected on walls, ceilings, and floors, to form a series of individual moments of surveillance and implied violence.

Give Me My Data: A Facebook Application Inspired by the Stasi Files Controversy, talk at DAAD Meeting in Dresden, Germany

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Giving a talk today in Dresden, Germany titled, “Give Me My Data: A Facebook Application Inspired by the Stasi Files Controversy.” Here is the abstract.

During the final days of the German Democratic Republic (or GDR) it became evident that the Ministry for State Security (more popularly known as the “Stasi”) was destroying incriminating evidence from its 40-year history of domestic and international surveillance. These documents, which the Stasi was attempting to destroy using shredding machines, as well as by hand when the machines failed, included information gathered through various clandestine methods about lives of citizens of the GDR without their knowledge or consent.

On January 15, 1990, protestors stormed the Stasi headquarters in Berlin in attempt to prevent the destruction of personal records which they felt they should be able to access. The phrase, “Freiheit für meine Akte!” (in English: Freedom for my file!) spray painted on the Stasi guardhouse during this protest embodies a desire by citizens to open this closed world of state surveillance in order to understand the methods of control employed the Stasi

This moment in history inspires my ongoing project, Give Me My Data, a Facebook application that helps users export their data out of Facebook. While clearly utilitarian, this project intervenes into online user experiences, provoking users to take a critical look at their interactions within social networking websites. It suggests data is tangible and challenges users to think about ways in which their information is used for purposes outside of their control by government or corporate entities.

At the height of its operations, the Stasi is believed to have hired, between spies and full- and part-time informants, one in every 6.5 East German citizens to report suspicious activities, almost 2.5 million people.1 At this moment, the ratio of people entering data on Facebook to non-members is one in fourteen for the entire world,2 introducing possibly the most effective surveillance machine in history.

Automata: Counter-Surveillance in Public Space paper on the Public Interventions panel at ISEA2010

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

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ISEA2010 RUHR Conference in Dortmund, Germany

P26 Public Interventions
Tue 24 August 2010
15:00–16:30h
Volkshochschule Dortmund, S 137a
Moderated by Georg Dietzler (de)

  • 15:00h | Owen Mundy (us): Automata: Counter-Surveillance in Public Space
  • 15:20h | Christoph Brunner (ch/ca), Jonas Fritsch (dk): Balloons, Sweat and Technologies. Urban Interventions through Ephemeral Architectures
  • 15:40h | Georg Klein (de): Don’t Call It Art! On Artistic Strategies and Political Implications of Media Art in Public Space
  • 16:00h | Georg Dietzler (de): Radical Ecological Art and No Greenwash Exhibitions

About my talk:

Automata is the working title for a counter-surveillance internet bot that will record and display the mutually-beneficial interrelationships between institutions for higher learning, the global defense industry, and world militaries. Give Me My Data is a Facbook application that help users reclaim and reuse their Facebook data. The two projects, both ongoing, address important issues surounding contemporary forms of communication, surveillance, and control.