2020, Moving Image
Royal College of Art, London
Missing people flyers are often placed where the missing one was last seen, so I apply this concept into cyberspace. With the development of information technology, people reside in the browser, and every detail of our searching histories will leave traces. If we want to find a person through the Internet, we only need to monitor his browsing history then we will clearly determine his identity, hobbies, occupation, etc. Through self-surveillance, I disguised myself as a watcher and an outsider to observe my Internet traces, and then to speculate what kind of person "I" am.
After getting inspiration from Sophie Calle’ s The Shadow and Jessamyn Lovell’s Dear Erin Hart, I got an idea of surveilling me, myself. I employed an APP called Hidden which can not only determine the lost device’s location but also build a convincing criminal case using Secret Screenshots and iSight.
I assumed that my laptop as the missing status, then I used Hidden to download the whole-day online traces of me. Although Hidden’s purpose is to help Apple users find and recover lost and stolen devices, I would like to use it in a reverse perspective to reveal the vulnerability of human beings compared to technology and surveillance systems.
Different from the conventional form of surveillance, in this context, I am the watcher and the be watched at the same time. When you are in the position of an outsider or we call it 'the other', will you be excited to monitor a person but the person is yourself? Or will you observe yourself from a much more objective way? When you get the iSight picture of yourself staring at the front camera, who is watching whom? These questions are the key points that I want to examine in my practice.