These images visualise suspected connections between terrorists involved in the September 11th attacks. The width of the line indicates how strong the suspected link is. People are placed on concentric circles based on the number of links between them and the central person, making it easy to measure the social distance between the central person and any other person.
New Sciences of Protection Conference: Plenary 3 with Tim Luke (Design as Defence) and Benjamin Bratton (Dissimulation and Terrorism)
Tim Luke and Benjamin Bratton discussed the architecture of safe living in both its actual and virtual dimensions. ‘Architecture’ is concerned with both the concrete material structuring of a space, but also with the projection of form, with a particular social-political-technical imaginary. ‘Architects,’ Benjamin Bratton reminded us, are concerned with both actual and possible cities. Discussing the architecture of designs for safe living thus involves a double-referent: to the actual architecture of the design and to the promise of safe living which is always to-come.
New Sciences of Protection Conference: Exhibition on the theme ‘Designing Safe Citizens’ by Cindy Weber.
On 21 September 2001 – ten days after 9/11 – the Ad Council in the United States launched its ‘I am an American’ advertising campaign. The exhibition unsettles the Ad Council’s smooth presentation of post 9/11 American patriotism through interviews with those for whom, very recently, US citizenship has been anything but ‘safe.’ These include the son of undocumented immigrant Elvira Arellano, Greg and Glenda Avery, Hurricane Katrina evacuees who became ‘internally displaced’ refugees, and James Yee, a US army Muslim chaplain wrongly accused of being a terrorist spy. The pieces show how the fantasy of unity, wholeness and security pedalled by the designers of safe citizenship in the US remain just that, fantasies. The exhibition disarticulates and rearticulates what it means to be a US citizen in a post 9/11 context, enactments neatly summed up in Cindy Weber’s provocative reversal the US motto “E Pluribus Unum” (Out of many, One) to read, ‘out of one, Many.’
The original Ad Council release
Greg and Glenda Avery: We are americans
James Yee: I am an American
Thank you to our fabulous Joseph Rigby for this great summary
“Seduction” (1986), a photograph from a series by Ms. Hershman Leeson called “Phantom Limb.”
As part of the ‘New Sciences of Protection’ conference a screening of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Strange Culture was arranged. Jackie Stacey, RICC, University of Manchester, introduced the film…
Lynn Hershman Leeson has been making visual investigations of the integration of the human body and the machine and of fantasy personae for 50 years now. In particular, Leeson has been fascinated by deception, artifice and the fluid boundary between secure and insecure identities. Long before the current anxieties about security and safety, Leeson explored the technologies of the self that meant that we could adopt other people’s identities or even make up fictional ones and get people to believe in them. One of her early pieces of work involved Leeson developing a persona, Roberta Breitmore. She appeared as a performance, when Leeson took up this identity as a disguise herself, wearing a blonde wig, costume and make-up; Roberta also appeared in photographs. Roberta’s existence was substantiated when she got an apartment, employment, a psychoanalyst, a driver’s license and credit cards. When Roberta put an ad in a San Francisco newspaper for a roommate/companion, it prompted dozens of responses. Roberta agreed to meet each person (mostly men) three times only to avoid too much intimacy, and each of these meetings was recorded in surveillance photographs and tape recordings. More recently in Leeson’s exhibition of her work in the virtual environment Second Life, Roberta has re-appeared, and we hope that Lynn will be joining us here at the Dukes after the film screening through her Second Life avatar, Roberta, to discuss some of the ideas in Strange Culture on the director’s behalf.
Secrecy is a documentary by Peter Galison and Robb moss about “the vast, invisible world of government secrecy. By focusing on classified secrets, the government’s ability to put information out of sight if it would harm national security, Secrecy explores the tensions between our safety as a nation, and our ability to function as a democracy.”
Next month during the Designing Safe Living conference in Lancaster, director Lynn Hershman-Leeson‘s film about the artist Steve Kurtz called ‘Strange Culture’ will be screened on Friday, July 11th. Lynn will then be giving an interview live on Second Life after the screening.
Strange Culture examines the case of artist and professor Steve Kurtz, a member of the Critical Art Ensemble (CAE). The work of Kurtz and other CAE members dealt with genetically modified food and other issues of science and public policy. After his wife, Hope, died of heart failure, paramedics arrived and became suspicious when they noticed petri dishes and other scientific equipment related to Kurtz’s art in his home. They summoned the FBI, who detained Kurtz within hours on suspicion of bioterrorism.
As Kurtz could not legally talk about the case, the film uses actors to interpret the story, as well as interviews with Kurtz and other figures involved in the case. Through a combination of dramatic reenactment, news footage, animation, and testimonials, the film scrutinizes post-9/11 paranoia and suggests that Kurtz was targeted because his work questions government policies. At the film’s close, Kurtz and his long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, former chair of the Genetics Department at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, await a trial date.
As of late May, 2008, the Buffalo Prosecutor has declined to reopen the case within the 30 day window in which he was allowed to do so. So, Steve Kurtz is free.
WALTER PICHLER. Small Room (Prototype 4), 1967 Photography: Werner Kaligofsky.
Generali Foundation, Vienna. © Generali Foundation
WALTER PICHLER TV-Helmet (Portable living room), 1967
This workshop explored ways in which the contemporary obsession with insecurity is generating new forms of technical promise, offering control and protection in the wars against terror and environmental apocalypse. Discussions ranged from Double Agents in the post cold war era, how design thinking is integral to understanding, envisioning and provoking thoughts about the future, how risk assessment and scenario planning creates its own future and how the war on climate change has been created from the same language and motivations as the war on terror.
A woman wears a Scapehood protection device, developed and manufactured by ILC February 25, 2003 in Frederica, Delaware. ILC started making the Scapehood for the general public and protects against chemical warfare agents and biological, radiological, and nuclear inhalation particulates. The Scapehood comes in an adult size and smaller sizes for children and infants. It costs $199.00 per unit and is available over the company’s website. The following describes its top 10 features:
AUTOMATIC BLOWER ACTUATION
BLOWER INDICATOR LIGHT
LOW DUROMETER NECKDAM
CLEAR HOOD/LARGE VISOR
QUIET 45 LPM BLOWER
POLYCARBONATE BLOWER CONSTRUCTION
Dr Annette Davison, Music, University of Edinburgh: BSc (City) MA (Exeter) PhD (Sheffield)
Annette’s talk discussed the subjects of eavesdropping, sound and it’s context in safe living. Film sound + music are little discussed as they are unseen. But they work hard to generate how we are able to believe what we see on the screen. Alfred Hitchcock for example did not want orchestra for his film “Lifeboat”(1944), because there is no orchestra in the sea. In 70s, sensitive rifle mikes sanitized audio surveillance as seen in the films The Conversation and Blowup.
What are the current issues of sound + audio surveillance in UK?
1) MPs and eavesdropping: people bugged at prison by police, it was not for a warrant for arrest. MPs and prison conversations had been taped
2) Wire tap intercepts in court. As evidence are admissible in court.
3) ”CCTV must not record conversations” Record the crowds of 2012 Olympics. Not between members of the public, intrusive and unjustified. It must be made clear that audio recording is taking place. Sound is public and private.
The band XX Teens are soon to release their single: “How To Reduce The Chances Of Being A Terror Victim”. They use a variety of security announcements as lyrics to accompany an amusing dystopian depiction of “uberprotection” & “ubersafety” society in their music video.
6. Never check luggage at curbside check-in at airports; carry luggage on board with you, if possible; carry as few bags as possible.
7. Spend as little time at the airport as possible; avoid heavily glassed areas.
8. When flying, wear comfortable clothing and shoes in case you need to quickly evacuate.
9. Try to fly on wide-body planes; terrorists often avoid hijacking them.
Photo credit: Rob Miller
US Army Muslim Chaplain James Yee gave his first ever talk in the UK at Lancaster University on Wednesday, November 28, 2007. Addressing a crowd of nearly 200 people, Chaplain Yee addressed one of the programme themes of ‘designing safe citizens’ by reflecting on his experiences as a US Armny Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and his subsequent wrongful arrest on charges of spying for Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Chaplain Yee was designated a US enemy combatant, subjected to sensory deprivation, and held in solidary confinement for 76 days before all charges against him were dropped.
Guantanamo bay prisoners on arrival are subject to complete sensory deprivation with the use of blacked out googles, ear guards and face masks.
PARKA:From the 1997 Autumn Winter collection made from Black ballistic Nylon[the same material used in bullet proof vests]
Vexed Generation are a fashion label that were founded in 1994 by Adam Thorpe and Joe Hunter. Their garment designs each address issues of air pollution, urban CCTV surveillance and civil liberties whilst catering for a performance lifestyle. Specifically utilising respiratory protection, and performance fabrics which are waterproof, breathable, fire retardant and knife retardant.
A quote from Vexed Generation’s 1997 season statement on their archive website:
“A Vexed garment will not clean the air
A Vexed garment will not protect public privacy
A Vexed garment will not change uncivil/civil legislation
A Vexed garment may improve your quality of life.”
Images from top left to right: surgical face mask, DXL Protective Helmet, mosquito protective safari suit, bomb disposal vest, germ warfare camo suit, baby buggy mosquito net, isolation chamber accordion sleeves, Israeli Civilian gasmask, potomac emergency escape BioChemical mask
Images from top left to right:
Radiation dosimeter wrist badge , geiger counter, handheld metal detecting mail scanner, dosimeter ring badge, blood pressure monitoring device, alcohol breath tester,dosimeter ring, fat calipers, pulse monitor, personal radiation Monitors, CT-80 explosive detection system.