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BEAUTIFUL INTERFACES: THE PRIVACY PARADOX


REVERSE Art Space April 14th 2016

BEAUTIFUL INTERFACES is a group show curated by Helena Acosta & Miyö Van Stenis featuring work by Jennifer Lyn Morone, Heather Dewey Hagborg, La Turbo Avedon, Annie Rose Malamet and Carla Gannis. The exhibited work will live on a wireless network accessible through five routers at the gallery space. The routers have been hacked and are not actually connected to the Internet. Each router has a private network, which visitors must login to through their own devices – cell phones or iPads – to view the artwork. BEAUTIFUL INTERFACES: THE PRIVACY PARADOX explores the dichotomy between the private and the public, creating a platform for distribution of data on an independent and anonymous network.

Everyday online social practices could look like harmless actions through a naive eye, but contain the potential for unexpected consequences when they are traced and connected to algorithmic surveillance systems. In less than five years facial recognition algorithms will be ubiquitous. Facebook has recently added facial recognition technology to their platform, becoming more deeply integrated into our smartphones. These new applications will facilitate easy reconstruction of any random encounter we have on the street that has been captured by a camera.

Our increased communication practices on the Social Web result in an increase of personal information online. The ‘Privacy Paradox’* suggests that despite Internet users’ concerns about privacy, their behaviors do not reflect those concerns. Even though we keep insisting on how much we care about our data, the statement ‘privacy is important!’ has become a void belief in our contemporary society.

In the era of algorithm prediction all our online actions have a digital trace, which are used by companies and governments to predict our behaviors. The Internet’s purpose is to collect and quantify each action – becoming a medium for surveillance.

PROGRAMMING ACTIVITIES Panel Discussion

The Post Privacy panel discussion will part of Creative Tech Week New York 2016.

The panel will be focused on the concept of post-privacy.  Is privacy becoming a thing of the past? Datafication as a phenomenon has been spreading into every nook of our daily lives; today our existence has a reflection in a digital grid where almost every movement leaves a footprint that can be tracked, and pointed. Does this reality make us more vulnerable to the eyes of evolving power agencies? In this permeable context, what counter surveillance strategies can we rely on?

Researcher Christian Heller has coined the term “post-privacy” to define the dissolution of privacy in the digital age, as a way to capture what might be an inescapable change in the privacy paradigm. As technological progress gains momentum, our interaction with digital tools becomes increasingly recurrent, not only in the way we interact with our governments and authorities, but also in our personal lives. Technology has become an extension of our identities.

Panelists will discuss the concept of privacy and overexposed behaviors in the digital age. They are invited to explore these questions: is the protection of privacy a lost battle? What methods can we use to deal with a potential post-privacy data model? Can we envision surveillance, or privacy, working symmetrically between power structures and civilians? Is this an utopian assumption?

PANELISTS

Dan Phiffer is a programmer and artist based in Brooklyn working on projects that use computer networks as a raw material. In the Fall of 2011 Dan created Occupy.here as an alternative web forum for the Occupy Wall Street encampment and its affiliated working groups. Unlike theofficial OWS online forum, Occupy.here was only reachable via local wifi darknets at Zuccotti Park and at 60 Wall Street, another nearby Privately Owned Public Space. Each Occupy.here wifi node is designed to be disconnected from the Internet, operated independently in an archipelago of affiliated open virtual spaces. Dan is currently a fellow at Columbia’s Tow Center of Digital Journalism, and has had projects exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and SFMOMA.

Lior Zalmanson is a writer, lecturer and researcher, interested mainly in digital culture and the information society. His research interests include social media, pricing of information products, consumer engagement and user generated content. His research has won awards and grants by Fulbright Foundation, Dan David Prize, Google, Marketing Science institute and more. Lior has written on digital and online behavior for Wired UK and Alaxon. Lior is also the founder of the Print Screen festival, Israel’s digital culture festival, which explores themes of digital culture in cinema and audio-visual arts. Furthermore, he is a grant and award-winning playwright and screenwriter.

Carla Gannis is an artist that explores the concepts of nature and the politics of identity, drawing from art history, technology, theory, cinema, video games and speculative fiction. Identifying as a visual storyteller, Carla uses 21st Century representational technologies to narrate through a “digital looking glass”, reflecting on power, sexuality, marginalization and agency. She is fascinated by contemporary modes of digital communication, the power (and sometimes the perversity) of popular iconography and the situation of identity in the blurring contexts of technological virtuality and biological reality.

Jennifer Lyn Morone artist, designer and experimenter whose work playfully challenges human-designed systems that undermine the individual. Her work can be described as thought experiments put to practice in long-term, subversive and collaborative life-works. Jennifer’s focus is on economics and her methodology involves reappropriating structures (i.e. political and business systems) then deconstructing and redesigning them, taking into account concerns and realities of today and especially those anticipated in the future. By pushing her designs to the extreme, she aims to expose how, inherently, the exploitation of economically driven decisions and agendas impacts the fabric of modern human existence.

MODERATORS

Helena Acosta is a New Media Art Curator. Her work investigates and promotes digital culture and social engage projects. Helena has been involved as a curator, producer, and creative director of different projects that bridge the line between art and activism. Her curatorial work includes a series of projects related to the socio-political crisis in Venezuela; for instance, “From the Lleca to the Cohue,” exhibited at Tokyo Wonder Site in 2012, and “Dismantling The Simulation,” a collective for visual activism and guerrilla actions that seeks to question and dismantle the different discourses, events and information distribution schemes operating in Venezuela.

Miyö Van Stenis Artist and curator specialized in New Media Art, currently based in Paris. Her work explores in the technological field: interfaces, operating systems, softwares and devices involved in the Internet as an performative action where the value is the human pursuing the error or the limit but also has a series of projects related to the socio-political crisis in Venezuela. Her curatorial work is centered in the criticism and the aesthetics of new medias/technologies; such as DeOrigenBelico since 2010 and Beautiful Interfaces since 2013.