This project came out of a course that I was taking at Parsons during the spring semester of my first year in the MFADT program. At the end of the semester the class put together a publication with articles that we had all written, it was my responsibility to design and create the site that our articles would live on.
Digital networks provide for immense, unprecedented connectivity. This hyper connectedness enables not only unlimited communication and ubiquitous monitoring, but the potential to affect civic discourse and government. As whistleblowers leak and corporations begrudgingly disclose details about international monitoring infrastructures and the considerable overlaps with commercial platforms, Internet users confront startling revelations about how both state and private actors record and mine the details of our lives, and have the capacity to sway our personal opinions. Big Brother + Big Data = Dark Data. This course examines these phenomena within historical and contemporary socio-technical contexts. Paying special attention to art, design and technology that critique, mitigate, or respond to digital tracking infrastructures, the studio elective will support the practice of making new creative responses to data security and sovereignty by exploring critical artifacts, systems, strategies, and interventions.
The course will begin by surveying four state defined surveillance and privacy models from the EU, US, India, and China. Unpacking their relevant values, beliefs, hopes and fears, we will question how each model asserts both the political identity of a nation state and individual citizens. We will further examine evolving concepts of surveillance, privacy, identity and economy to more deeply understand current relationships of the individual to the larger “body politic." Course work consists of weekly reading and discussion of critical texts, investigative journalism, and examples of legal and design based interventions. Over the course of the semester, the class will collaboratively produce its own publication on a collectively decided theme relating data to concepts of identity and sovereignty.
With the help of my colleagues we came up with a design and a unique approach for the homepage of the publication. We decided it would be best for the site to have the feeling of being something classified. Something that the public shouldn’t know about. The posts themselves would have a very traditional look with a banner at the top and the content in the body.