Surveillant Architectures

Developing paradigms in media culture. This blog is collaboratively edited by the Surveillant Architectures Group.

A Cultural History of Surveillance – updated


A historical overview of landmark events and developments in art and architecture, society and technology.

~60 AD (Roman Period). Early manifestations of panoptic labor camps in the Negev desert. An even older but similar site nearby dates from  Early Bronze Age II–III periods (3000–2400 BC).

1608 The earliest known working telescopes appear, credited to Hans Lippershey and Zacharias Janssen, spectacle-makers in Middelburg, and Jacob Metius.

1609 Galileo uses a refracting telescope as an instrument to observe stars, planets or moons. The name telescope is coined for Galileo’s instrument by a mathematician, Giovanni Demisiani, in 1611. The name derives from the Greek tele = ‘far’ and skopein = ‘to look or see’.

1673 In his book ‘Phonurgia Nova’, Athanasius Kircher proposes a system of amplifying horns and camera obscura projections by which a monarch can surveil the noblemen at his court and thereby strengthen his rule. athanasius kircher phonurgia nova 1

1785 Plan for Hotel-Dieu, drawing by Bernard Poyet

Bernard Poyet


1791
General Idea of a Penitentiary Panopticon, drawing by Willey Reveley after Jeremy Bentham

1791 Reveley after Bentham

A model of the Panopticon, Museum für Kommunikation, Frankfurt, 2013panopticon-model,-museum-fuer-kommunikation,-frankfurt,-2013

1837 Charles Babbage designs a fully programmable mechanical computer called The Analytical Engine

1837 1st telegraph by Samuel F. B. Morse

1840 Projet de pénitencier, Drawing by Harou Romain

1840 Romain


1889
Herman Hollerith develops and patents a punched card data processing technology for 1890 US Census and establishes the Tabulating Machine Company,  one of the three companies that later merged to form the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation, subsequently renamed IBM.

1900 Reginald Fessenden successfully transmits his speech over a distance of about one mile. This appears to have been the 1st audio radio transmission.

1911 George E. Kelly recognizes military potential of aerial photography.

1927 Russian inventor Léon Theremin develops a mirror drum-based television system which uses interlacing to achieve an image resolution of 100 lines.

1927 Herbert E. Ives of Bell Labs transmits moving images from a 50-aperture disk producing 16 frames per minute over a cable from Washington, DC to New York City. Ives uses viewing screens as large as 24 by 30 inches.

1927 Fritz Lang directs Metropolis (screenplay written 1924)

1929 Dziga Vertov edits the movie Man with a Movie Camera

1929 Vertov


1932
Aldous Huxley publishes Brave New World

1930s onwards: Science Fiction authors imagine future surveillance technologies. Many of them a reality now.

1935-1944 On air period of the German TV Station Paul Nipkow. Its headquarters were in Berlin. It was named after the inventor of the Nipkow disk.

1936 Walter Benjamin publishes The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

1939 John Cage composes Imaginary Landscape No. 1

1941 Konrad Zuse developes Z3, the first working machine featuring binary arithmetic, including floating point arithmetic and a measure of programmability. In 1998 the Z3 was proved to be Turing complete, therefore being the world’s first operational computer.

1942 Siemens installs first CCTV for the monitoring the launch of V2 rockets

1945 Vannevar Bush publishes the article  As We May Think in The Atlantic Monthly Journal. He is proposing a system called Memex (for Memory Extender) as an electronic exstention of human memory and knowledge. A prototype both of PC and hypertext.

1946 Life Magazine photographer Yalo Joel uses a one-way mirror to trick people into posing for him

1946 Peter Goldmark (CBS) demonstrates his color television system. His system produces color pictures by having a red-blue-green wheel spin in front of a cathode ray tube.

1948 George Orwell: 1984

1949 This mechanical means of producing a color picture (by Peter Goldmark) is used to broadcast medical procedures from Pennsylvania and Atlantic City hospitals. In Atlantic City, viewers can come to the convention center to see broadcasts of operations. Reports from the time note that the realism of seeing surgery in color caused more than a few viewers to faint.

1951 The first video tape recorder (VTR) captures live images from television cameras by converting the information into electrical impulses and saving the information onto magnetic tape

1952 US President Truman formally establishes the NSA, which plays an instrumental part in the rise of the computer age. (Here’s a 1986 article by Friedrich Kittler about this, in German)

1956 Ampex sold the first VTR for $50,000

1957 Sputnik launch, 1st artificial satellite

1958 First use of stationary cameras to monitor traffic flow in Munich.

1958-1980 Development and activity of SAGE, Semi-Automatic Ground Environment. This image is a work of a U.S. Air Force Airman or employee, taken or made during the course of the person’s official duties.

1950-80ies US SAGE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:SAGE_control_room.png


1961
first meteorological satellites launched by the USA

1963 Philips presents first audio cassette recorder

1963 Nam June Paik exhibits 13 TV monitors at Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal.

1963-65 Ted Nelson (Projekt Xanadu) coins the term hypertext.

1964 Marshall McLuhan publishes Understanding Media.

1965 Andy Warhol gets to use one of the very first Norelco video tape recorders.

1967 Guy Debord publishes The Society of the Spectacle.  “All that was once directly lived has become mere representation.”

1969 Vito Acconci makes Following Piece in New York

1969 Following Piece


1969
John Lennon/Yoko Ono make Film No 6. Rape. The relentles, continuous and brutal harassment of a girl by a male camera crew.

Lennon/Ono Film No. 6 Rape


1969
 Bruce Nauman: First CCTV installation Video Corridor for San Francisco“ (Come Piece)

1969 Andy Warhol plans to broadcast a 6 hour stretch of continuous surveillance footage on the New York TV network; ‘Nothing Special’ was proposed to consist of footage of people walking by on the street at night, it never got made.

1969 US Defence and its Advanced Research Project Agency develop ARPANET.

1969 Sony introduces a prototype for the first widespread video cassette, the 3/4″ composite U-matic system. Sony later refine it to Broadcast Video U-matic or BVU.

1969-70 Bruce Nauman: Live-Taped Video Corridor

1969-70 Bruce Nauman: Video Surveillance Piece / Public Room, Private Room

1969-70 Bruce Nauman’s Video Surveillance Piece


1970
William S. Burroughs publishes The Electronic Revolution (In both The Electronic Revolution and The Job (1970), Burroughs maps strategies for the use of tape recorders as instruments of psychic terrorism); (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Electronic_Revolution)

1970 Dan Graham stages TV Camera / Monitor Performance at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax.

1971 Jochen Gerz presents IBM Colour Ribbon: Unlike the videotape, the typewriter ribbon directly and visibly shows the information transferred to it. As a waste product, it embodies mechanical text production as a process in time (http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/ibm-farbband/)

1971 Gerz

1972
Jürgen Klauke starts work on Antlitze (Faces) 

1973 Peter Weibel installs Observation of the Observation: Uncertainty

1973 Global Positioning System (GPS) developed

1974 The British Armyin Northern Ireland introduces first automatised vehicle number plates recognition system.

1974 Installation of 145 CCTV cameras to control traffic on major arterial roads in London. Their usage is soon expanded to include crime prevention and social control. The ongoing conflict with the IRA in Northern Ireland turns mainland UK into the most densely controlled state on earth. Today there are an estimated 4,5 million surveillance cameras in the UK, both publicly and privately run.

1974 Francis Ford Coppola: The Conversation

1974 Coppola


1974
Dan Graham: Time Delay Room

1975 Michel Foucault publishes Surveiller et punir

1976 Hannover  follows the London model and installs 25 remotely controlled, movable and zoomable traffic cameras. A few years later there is blanket CCTV coverage of ‘problematic’ city areas nationwide across Germany.

1976 Dara Birnbaum edits Technology / Transformation: Wonder Woman

1976 Wonder Woman


1976
VHS video format introduced by JVC

1977 Dan Graham stages Performer/Audience/Mirror

1978 1st GPS satellite launched

1978 Antonio Muntadas produces the video On Subjectivity (About TV)

1978 Antonio Muntadas


1979
Sony and Philips jointly develop  the Compact Disk (CD)

1979 first edition of ars electronica Festival, Linz, Austria

1980 Steve Mann begins work on wearables

600px-wearcompevolution.jpg


1981
Sophie Calle produces The Shadow : «In April 1981, at my request, my mother went to a detetctive agency. She hired them to follow me, to report my daily activities, and to proviede photographic evidence of my existence.» In The Shadow she sets the detective’s photographic account against her own observations: the observer becomes the observed. The viewer is the third witness. This search for her own identity fails to reveal a clear picture here, too. Sophie Calle’s face does not appear in any of the pictures: her figure emerges like a shadow throughout the detective’s photographs

1981 Sophie Calle’s The Shadow


1982
Ridley Scott directs Blade Runner

1982 David Rokeby starts to develop Very Nervous System, his first major interactive work using video cameras, image processors, computers, synthesizers and a sound system to create a space in which the movements of one’s body create sound and/or music.

1983 Michael Klier directs/edits the movie Der Riese, an unconventionally constructed essay video on video surveillance in public space

1983 Der Riese


1984
1st Macintosh 128k presented

1985 Julia Scher‘s 1st reference to surveillance Hardley Feel It Going In (painting with surveillance system)

1986 Julia Scher‘s 1st Bubble Memory device by Hitachi Softly Tapping The Wires (interactive installation)

1991 Julia Scher presents DDD (Danger Dirty Data)

early 1990s London installs its Ring of Steel in response to a spate of IRA attacks. The infrastructure is still in use today and has since been upgraded and expanded several times.

mid 1990s Privacy activists battle government officials for the right to use strong crypto in the Crypto Wars.

1998 Shizuka Yokomizo takes photos of people standing in their front rooms from the street for her ‘Dear Stranger’ project.

1998 The Surveillance Camera Players stage George Orwell’s 1984, in Art Toad’s adaptation of George Orwell’s famous anti-utopian play 1984. It takes place on the platform of a New York subway station in November 1998. http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/works/george-orwells-1984/

1998 Surveillance Camera Players


2001 CTRL [SPACE]
opens at ZKM Karlsruhe. The first comprehensive overview of surveillance-related art works. The artist pages of the out-of-print and now precious catalogue can be browsed online. It’s the essays that are still worth reading, 14 years later. We have a copy in the office if you want to borrow it. the library has it, too.

2002 US Information Awareness Office established; allegedly abandoned in 2003 because of  human rights and privacy concerns. 2013 Edward Snowden leaks reveal core projects were continued and up and running a few years later. One of the most ambitious / publicly known mass surveillance projects.

250px-iao-logo.png


2003
Harun FarockiErkennen und verfolgen (War at a Distance). Just one of many of his works concerned with observational politics.
farocki-war_distance2.jpg


2004
Jill Magid: Evidence Locker
Multimedia Installation including  Police CCTV footage, Sound piece, novella, website (www.evidencelocker.net)
Jill Magid


2004
Miroslav Tichý‘s work is shown for the first time, encompassing photos from the 1960’s to the present.

end 2000s New York installs its own Ring of Steel, one of the most integrated “full spectrum, military grade” surveillance networks.

2010 Exposed. Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera. A major exhibition at Tate Modern, London.

2010 Adam Harvey designs CV Dazzle: Open-Source Camouflage From Computer Vision. (“…a program of design of hairstyles and makeup to trick face detection software, to change the human face in ways that is still aesthetically pleasing to human eyes but rules out the attention of computers. This is interesting, because most of our ways of tricking computers are violently unfriendly ways.” James Bridle) See also.

2010 Timo Toots: Memopol-1 An interactive installation that independently gathers and visualizes personal data. works.timo.ee/memopol/

2011 The Chaos Computer Club discovers and dissects the Staatstrojaner. Mass surveillance of Internet users makes it into the public consciousness.

2011 Wikileaks targets companies that export surveillance and control software from the West to countries that rape, torture and murder, and is used e.g. by Syria to suppress dissent.

2011 Drones find their way from the military to general police use, not just in the US but in Europe e.g. in Niedersachsen during Castor protests, to the protesters themselves, documenting their protest. The KHM’s lab3 got their first drone in 2012.

2012 There are an estimated 1 billion smart phones in use worldwide. They are also a perfect surveillance bug that people are happy to wear. (For a possible solution see also)

2012 Julian Oliver: Transparency Grenade. An open source device that automatically hacks into locally available wireless networks, sniffs traffic to extract confidential data and uploads all results to a publicly available web server.

2012 James Bridle draws Drone Shadows.

2013 Google Glass released to developers, available to the public from 2014
A_Google_Glass_wearer photo Loic Le Meur

2013 The Internet of Things is looming on the horizon. In addition, our tools and gadgets are increasingly locked down, and we cannot verify what processes are running on them. In effect, we are on our way to perfect and inescapable monitoring. The movement for free and open source software and hardware is gaining ground.

2013-14 Edward Snowden leaks. It turns out mass surveillance is not a conspiracy theory, but reality. Ongoing revelations at the time of writing, including the drive for a ‘full take’ of the world’s network traffic (“Why can’t we collect all the signals all the time?”), systematic weakening of security protocols, state-sponsored hacking into friends’ and foe’s infrastructure, etc etc.  Worldwide repercussions, though no large scale outcry. Security researcher Bruce Schneier argues that the Internet has been commandeered by the NSA. In an unprecedented move, a range of privacy-oriented shops shut down and destroy their hardware, rather than cooperating with what they see as intolerable conditions.

prism_logo

 

*timeline compiled by arte-e-parte, 2008 and CS 2014


Michael Stipe on 9-11 and what followed


He puts it very well.

In my mind I’m seeing unblinking eyes: HAL 9000 surveying Dave the astronaut; I’m seeing Doug Coupland surveying the 21st-century world; I’m seeing video surveillance everywhere. I’m seeing ourselves watching ourselves and it’s deeply frightening, as a new form of infrastructure that relentlessly monitors and peels back our privacy, our mysteriousness, our individuality, in every way. Do we all need to feel like we’re living in a movie, thousands of unseen cameras invisibly choreographing scenes with our words, our actions, our movements? And are we almost to the point, thanks to the internet, of providing ourselves with our own laugh track? The googly eyes on Coupland’s Osamas lead me to think that one day we will.

The 9-11 pieces by Douglas Coupland he talks about are pretty good. Wow, those toy eyes.

Light-Blue-Boogeyman-1


Introduction to Cyber Security – free online course


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https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/introduction-to-cyber-security


“The right to flight”: reclaiming the airspace


James Bridle is reclaiming the air, once the realm of utopia and progress, now reserved for surveillance and control:

http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/jul/15/the-right-to-flight-why-im-flying-a-balloon-over-london-this-summer


defense gesture


Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger questioned - trim2 short

The editor of the Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, in a mandatory appearance before a parliamentary committee on 3 Dec. 2013, where he was going to be grilled for his role in the publishing of the Snowden leaks. He walks in, knowing that he faces  severe criticism and possibly even a jail sentence. He finds his seat in front of the committee, takes a pen out of his pocket, puts it in his mouth and sits down (at 4’15). And doesn’t take it out for the whole of the chairman’s welcome (until 4’51).

My guess: he’s doing it in order not to get intimidated and pushed into a defensive position. To keep sane. He’s making fun of them and mirrors back at them the perceived ridiculousness of the situation. It’s also completely unpredictable behaviour. As I’ve mentioned before, I think this is something that we’re going to see a lot more of.

The full video:

Update: Here’s an article from the beginning of the still ongoing economic crisis, about how to deal with fear and angst, that was behind some of the thinking here.
Angstbewältigung - Süddeutsche_


Can you hide from Big Data?


Someone tried.

 Janet Vertesi, assistant professor of sociology at Princeton University, had an idea: would it be possible to hide her pregnancy from big data? Thinking about technology—the way we use it and the way it uses us—is her professional life’s work. Pregnant women, she knew, are a marketing gold mine; a pregnant woman’s marketing data is worth 15 times as much as the average person’s. Could Vertesi, a self-declared “conscientious objector” of Google ever since 2012, when they announced to users that they’d be able to read every email and chat, navigate all the human and consumer interactions having a baby would require and keep big data from ever finding out?

Meet The Woman Who Did Everything In Her Power To Hide Her Pregnancy From Big Data

Big surprise: it’s extremely hard. Furthermore, that sort of behaviour gets you flagged as someone behaving really, really suspiciously. Less like someone privacy-counscious, more like a terrorist. (more)

no social media


let’s Cryptoparty again


Cryptoparty sticker

 

Mittwoch, 30. April 2014
ab 18.00 Uhr bis ca. 21.00 Uhr Workshops und freies Rumhängen

Cryptopartys sind eine globale DIY-Initiative zur Emanzipation aus der technologischen Unmündigkeit.

Wir meinen, das Thema der digitalen Rundum-Überwachung sollte gerade auch an der Kunsthochschule für Medien kritisch beleuchtet werden. Deshalb freuen wir uns besonders, bereits die zweite Cryptoparty zu veranstalten.

Wieder geht es um die Rückeroberung der Datenhoheit. In entspannter Atmosphäre wird konkretes Wissen rund um Verschlüsselungstechniken und die digitale Selbstverteidigung vermittelt. Bitte Laptop, Notebook oder Vergleichbares mitbringen, um gleich vor Ort loslegen zu können.

Eine Initiative des Surveillant Architectures Seminars mit Jürgen Fricke.

GLASMOOG, Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln

p.s.
wer sich vorbereiten will oder morgen keine Zeit hat:
(auf deutsch): https://digitalcourage.de/support/digitale-selbstverteidigung
(English): Eff’s Surveillance Self-Defense site: https://ssd.eff.org/

Ich bringe diese hier mit

tails


Conspiracy Theories!


Just to remind you, next Wednesday we’re going to do the Liberation Movements seminar as usual from 10. If you’d like to present something to the group, please bring it. (I think everyone should at least present once).

Then in the evening we’re going to have our second Cryptoparty. Just turn up, bring someone in need of privacy, and a computer.

To prepare for Wednesday, please check out these two fantastic podcasts about Conspiracy Theories.

1.
You Are Not So Smart podcast 016: Conspiracy Theories
http://boingboing.net/2014/01/16/you-are-not-so-smart-podcast-0-5.html
Their guest “Steven Novella is a leader in the skeptic community, … and an academic clinical neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine.” So you kind of know where this is coming from. I find it hugely refreshing. They’re talking about artists without knowing (or explicitly mentioning) it from 45’40:

“Q: Are there certain traits that you’ve seen that make a particular individual more susceptible to believe in conspiracy theories?
A: Well it certainly seems that way. (…) It is certainly recognized that some people have more of a tendency to be paranoid. What we call paranoid ideation. It’s been studied.
In fact, people who tend to believe in conspiracies are also more likely to see patterns in random visual images as well. … They might have this enhanced pattern recognition. Or they may just have a decreased reality testing filter. Meaning that they’re much more likely to think that patters that they think they see are real.
… We all have that tendency to some degree. These just may be people who are farther along that spectrum. They’re a little more paranoid, have more intense pattern-recognition, and they’re less skeptical of their own perceived patterns. “

2.
(in German, from influential bloggers and activists Fefe and Frank Rieger)
Alternativlos, Folge 23, über Verschwörungstheorien, insbesondere um solche, die sich später als wahr herausstellen.
http://alternativlos.org/23/
About the major consensus narrative. What do conspiracy theories have to do with blinkers? Intersting stuff for artists, too. The more you look out for something, the more you find of it, and after a while you start to get blind towards conflicting ideas or alternatives. They say this is valid for narratives as well as imagery. Does it also apply to artistic obsessions? How do you get rid of any of this?

I’m going to put this up on our blog at http://blog.khm.de – leave comments if you dare! (use Tor if necessary)


what surveillance does to you


The effects of surveillance to personal liberty nicely explained: In English und auch auf deutsch.

During the war, Freud lectured on “The Censorship of Dreams” in early December 1915. Around that time, he inserted a new body of text into The Interpretation of Dreams, mapping wartime dream censorship directly onto wartime postal censorship:

Frau Dr. H. von Hug-Hellmuth (1915) has recorded a dream which is perhaps better fitted than any to justify my choice of nomenclature [for censorship]. In this example the dream-distortion adopted the same methods as the postal censorship for expunging passages which were objectionable to it. The postal censorship makes such passages unreadable by blacking them out; the dream censorship replaced them by an incomprehensible mumble.”

A fragment here: A 50-year-old “cultivated and highly esteemed lady” had (in her dream) gone to Garrison Hospital No. 1 saying that she wanted to volunteer for “service” meaning (as was evident to everyone in earshot): “love service” (Liebesdienste). To the sentry she announced, “I and many other women and girls in Vienna are ready to [mumble, mumble].” Yet everyone in the dream understood her. One of the officers: “Suppose, madam, it actually came to…(mumble).” Or later, the dreamer: “It must never happen that an elderly woman…(mumble)…a mere boy. That would be terrible.” As she walked up the staircase she heard an officer comment: “That’s a tremendous decision to make – no matter whether a woman’s young or old! Splendid of her!”


that was The Future, winter term 2013/14


I look forward to the next term! Christian

the strange now, future possibilities