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Mystic - Signs of Surveillance

Thomas Marcusson's avatar Thomas Marcusson

Signs of surveillance is a series of interactive neon signs that react to nearby mobile phone activity such as calls, texts or browsing, which results in the signs flickering and omitting distorted sounds of prerecorded phone conversations. The signs are triggered via small cell phone detector set to track mobile calls in or around the exhibition area. The signs are actual names of different government surveillance programs used to gather large amounts of private information regarding conversations and behaviour of ordinary citizens, mostly in the name of anti-terrorism. Mystic is the name of an extensive mobile surveillance program used by NSA, designed to record and intercept massive amount of cell phone traffic. Other signs in the series include Stellar Wind, Tempora and Prism. The politics of modern surveillance might seem intangible and distant to most people, but by seeing the signs react to your own private phone call, the surreal world of surveillance becomes a tad more real.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: 15cm
  • Medium: Neon Sign
  • Width: 160cm
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 50cm