Group/Workshop Sessions as part of PUBLIC IN(TER)VENTION symposium
Chiang Mai; 20 Feb 2005
The Spy School (exercise # 6) presented by Manu Luksch and Varsha Nair
The Spy School recruits scrutinise the public-private borderline of post-9/11
daily life in a climate where the ethic of surveillance is in the ascendancy
and the development of its technologies in overdrive. Exercise #6 discusses
the relevance of these themes for Asia and the Asian public arts context.
Media space is the public space of today; artists working with ICT technologies
like to exploit the spacial qualities of media: networks as a place to
communicate, exchange, express, meet; and as a place to hijack, surveil,
The same technology which promises to make us 'omniscient' and 'omnipresent',
and lets us create independent social spaces, ties us into a network where
we are vulnerable to tracking and surveillance.
The same digital technologies that are enthusiastically used by groups
searching to empower communities, diversify communication channels, and
introduce horizontal social structures, are also being used to enforce
the very power relationships being questioned.
Under the banner of the War Against Terror, elements in government agencies,
corporations and the media are fuelling public fear and encroaching on
long-established rights of citizens. Exposure to forces of centralisation
and control also occurs in a more subtle way through increasing connectivity
to hierarchical communications networks.