Selections for Privacy, Surveillance and Prison Reform Announced

Throughout the month of September, as part of our series on Privacy, Surveillance and Prison Reform, we invited artists to submit work that questions government authority and power over our privacy, both in and out of the prison system.

The top eight selections, each of whom will receive $500, have now been chosen. We are pleased to announce those selections below!

Familiar by taietzelticalos

Artist Statement: “Familiar” points explicitly to the 2015 massive hack of prisoner phone calls, a story covered by The Intercept. The leak exposed serious violations of attorney-client privilege and also raised questions regarding privacy rights of incarcerated persons. I focused on this particular incident in my hive but, if we take a step back, the whole picture reveals the same. We are living in an era of global mass surveillance in which, paradoxically, extimacy reached its highest level. It feels like all our actions are transformed in stored and filtered data that ultimately will turn against us.

Taietzel Ticalos is based in Romania, Bucharest.

V2FzaGluZ3Rvbg by round

Artist Statement: Over 100 security camera feeds from all over the nation’s capital reveal nothing about the surveillance state – except its banality.

Maxim Leyzerovich is based in Washington, DC.

BINARY CODE by iamhere

Artist Statement: Binary Code, is a performance based project that seeks to critique the ways that we engage in discourse surrounding the issues of surveillance and prison reform. With the vast amount of information provided by the internet; access to the narratives of others, and the documentation of traumas inflicted upon black and brown bodies, are quantified, collected, and encrypted, while the lived experiences of people are extracted and glossed over. With this project I wanted to bring remembrance to those who are living, and those who have passed through mourning, self reflection, and a challenge to express our support that goes beyond conversation.

Binary Code, aka Redeem, lives in Florida.

Wen yr surveillance drone discovers the art of dance by sabato

Artist Statement: The piece “wen yr surveillance drone discovers the art of dance” is part of a series created entirely out of FBI drone surveillance footage captured during the protests in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray. It was inspired by Harun Farocki’s work with “operational images,” which explored the way computerized systems, like weapon and surveillance systems, see and understand visual information. The idea behind the piece is to find and crystallize fleeting moments of inoperancy captured on the drone’s surveillance feed. These moments are comprised of glitches, maneuvers, and contingencies, such as the instance when the drone captures an impromptu skating performance, creating an image that upends the official narrative of criminal protesters in a “war zone.” The panoptic gaze of a surveillance drone is recast as a that of a spectator witnessing a performance piece.

Sabato Visconti is a Brazilian artist living in Western Massachusetts.

Vulnerability and Closeness: Preliminary Findings on Privacy, Power, and Surveillance by independentvariable

Artist Statement: Vulnerability and Closeness: Preliminary Findings on Privacy, Power, and Surveillance is part of a larger ongoing project in which Livio & Merz investigate the implications of making both their emotional and data selves vulnerable, while simultaneously testing new, interdisciplinary modes of conducting research. In this iteration of the project, they have archived their intimate live-streamed hangouts, left digital care packages, and presented the entirety of their text-based communications, examining the dissonance between our vulnerability to corporate and governmental entities and the barriers to vulnerability towards ourselves, each other, and the public.

independent variable, aka Maya Livio & JP Merz, live in Boulder, CO and Minneapolis, MN, respectively.

Mexico is disappearing, A polyptych by brokenenglish

Artist Statement: With “Mexico is Dissapearing” we look to the distopia of law and order that is Mexico. We are in a war between law and criminals where in reality we cannot tell apart who is the law and who is the criminals.

Broken English is a collective post-editorial project based at Serapio Rendón in México City. The editors are the TextJockeys duo: Pierre Herrera and David Alejandro Martínez, and Canek Zapata. They publish new Latin American literature and try to push the semantic field of language with image and audio and multimedia contents.


Artist Statement: Our online interactions, what we share, how we react becomes data that can be interpreted, stored and accessed by third party apps thus the concept of privacy is slowly lost as you are an active user online.

boivoid, aka Tristan, is based in Bucharest, Romania.

Spiritus Sancti I by catbluemke

Artist Statement: Spiritus Sancti compares the vulnerable nature of identities in non-Euclidean space; comparing the Medieval concepts of heaven and soul in Christian doctrine to the global virtual space of today. In both cases, self surveillance techniques are enlisted by those in power to prohibit the uprising of those oppressed.

Cat Bluemke also works collectively under the name “Tough Guy Mountain” and lives between Toronto and Chicago.


Caught by Alexandra Gorczynski

With the expansion of a surveillance state, government powers claim an increased right to the minutiae of our lives in their quest to curate and craft their own narratives. Simultaneously, those forces possess the same omnipotence in decisions around our contemporary prison system.

While the government claims the right to monitor all citizens as potential criminals, they lack the ability to monitor those convicted and in their care. Once individuals have been removed from society and placed into a physically enclosed space (theoretically, though not always in practice, run by the government), these powers demonstrate, quite practically, the limits of their powers. People are lost, maimed, neglected, and die every day in prison.

Throughout the month of September, NewHive will be exploring these themes in a two-week series of commissioned artworks and editorial pieces.

We’re also inviting artists to submit work that questions government authority and power over our privacy, both in and out of the prison system. Where do the walls of that system actually begin? What are the limits to the ideal of “freedom” in a heavily-surveilled age? How can the emergence of citizen surveillance influence our perceptions of justice?

Using NewHive’s multimedia publishing platform, artists are encouraged to design pages with original text, animations, audio, and videos, or make use of NewHive’s code editor to build a page from scratch.

Each of the top eight selections will receive $500 and will be featured on the NewHive blog and across other media. Artwork will be reviewed based both on aesthetic merits, as well as its depth of exploration of ideas in this call. Submissions will be accepted through September 28th and winners will be announced in early October. Save your artwork with the tag #privandprison for consideration.

It should be said that history has always been dictated by those in power. Yet in our current times, the curation of the official record is now being challenged by non-“official” individuals en masse thanks to smartphones and social media. Now, more than ever, we are seeing an emergence of citizen journalism and dissident art: particularly in regards to police brutality and the criminal justice system.

A growing body of evidence and consciousness is now being captured, shared, developed, and discussed, offering everyday people the ability to write history as never before. The existing power structures don’t want citizen surveillance–surveillance over the surveyors–for these very reasons. Yet whoever possesses the tools of surveillance holds the power. NewHive seeks to contribute to this ongoing narrative, and amplify new voices in its construction.

Special thanks to Muckrock for their support in the creation of this call, and for providing access to data surrounding prison reform and surveillance for the artists.

Relaxation Machine: NewHive + Print Screen Announce Winner

balance by taietzelticalos

What is the relationship between technology and relaxation — between technology and sleep, even? How do our dreams relate to the divinations and future-looking inclinations of the technological landscape? What are the consequences of ‘always on’ digital culture? How does technology create new sources of pleasure and relaxation, while at the same time denying these in the name of productivity?

NewHive and Print Screen Festival invited artists to submit work based on the theme of “Relaxation Machine” using NewHive’s multimedia Net Art platform. A jury of judges, including Liat Berdugo, Net Art and Special Programs Curator of Print Screen; Melissa Broder, Director of Media & Special Projects at NewHive; Lior Zalmanson, Artistic Director of Print Screen selected one artist to receive an award, and seven other finalists whose work will be exhibited in the Holon Cinematheque and Mediatheque during the Print Screen Festival.

Congratulations to the winner, Taietzel Ticalos, for her piece, balance: a stunning multimedia meditation on money, privacy, data and peace of mind.

Special thanks to the seven finalists for their great work: Vlad Anghel, Taylor Ervin, Michael Green, The Institute for New Feeling, Elisabeth Nicula, Alex Saum, and Sabato Visconti.

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