Having previously collaborated in art projects with Ai Weiwei, Trevor Paglen and Laura Poitras, and others, independent journalist Jacob Appelbaum now presents his own works as an artist.
As part of a process of investigative journalism and document-leaking aimed at the higher goal of transparency, the exhibition is above all a critique of the progressive loss of liberty, using analogue surveillance film to portrait people who are uncovering surveillance itself.
The artist will present a series of six colored infrared photos shown as cibachrome prints for the first time. Initially they were created as a sign of admiration and respect for the portrayed people and for their work that led to the “Snowden Affair” and beyond. The work honors the close network of these political dissidents who themselves are targets of oppressive governments.
Another exhibition piece is P2P (Panda to Panda), a collaboration with internationally acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei, commissioned by Rhizome and the New Museum in New York in 2015. For the work, the two artists shredded NSA documents once given to Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald and stuffed them into panda bears. Inside each panda, Ai and Appelbaum placed a micro SD memory card containing a surprise.
"Panda to Panda" makes reference both to a slang term for the secret police in China and to peer-to-peer communication (P2P), a distributed communications architecture that partitions tasks or work loads between peers.
Jacob Appelbaum is a post-national independent computer security researcher, journalist and photographer. He is a core member of the Tor project, a free software network designed to provide online anonymity. He also trains interested parties globally on how to effectively use and contribute to the Tor network, enabling people to have agency, while informing, researching and writing about surveillance and privacy.
SAMIZDATA: Evidence of Conspiracy is presented in collaboration with SAMIZDATA: Tactics and Strategies for Resistance at Kunstquartier Bethanien by Disruption Network Lab, curated by Tatiana Bazzichelli (Artistic Director). The two-day conference (11-12 September 2015) brings together hackers, artists and critical thinkers who, in the light of the Snowden revelations, apply the concept of resistance and social justice from many different angles. Among the participants, Jacob Appelbaum, Laura Poitras, Jaromil, Jørgen Johansen and Sophie Toupin.