Minority Report comes closer… Three huge screens at Birmingham New Street railway station are scanning passers-by and play advertisements accordingly. http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/new-street-station-advertising-screens-9920400
Autonomedia, ISBN 978-1570272059, UK, 2009, English
The 4th anthology of texts realized by the DATA Browser series editorial group, is focused on “security”, an ambiguous yet extremely popular concept, exploited by governments in order to claim its necessity, programmability and the consequent need to build a security infrastructure. The artificiality of this approach and the dangerous consequences of the current unilateral concern for security inspired the editors to begin with the Giorgio Agamben text written after 9/11 (here reprinted) and then to invite contributions from the usual competent roster of writers. Among these is the confusing and disturbing imaginary solicited by Konrad Becker, a structured critique of software security by the two editors and a piece connecting politics and art by Brian Holmes, with a few artworks briefly illustrated in between the theory. Security is something that is easily “sold” to citizens through a certain dose of shiny technology drowned on a vast array of devices (from the hardware of surveillance to the software of control). Furthermore, the determination of insecurity (or its creation, as the title suggests) can be compared to the need for creation in marketing, with a strong appeal to the individual. Going beyond the “surveillance” menace, the discourse revolves around how the chimera of security can condemn everything that cannot be “calculated”, as art usually is. So if security means a permanent uncertainty that has to be constantly reassured, questioning its theoretical basis could definitively break the loop established by authorities.