DARK WEB

ARTIST STATEMENT

 

Concerns regarding encryption and data privacy have increasingly become a part of a contemporary international conversation. Online security and privacy is one of the primary concerns across the globe as our physical existence becomes increasingly entwined with our virtual actions and communication. However, the popular motto and soundbyte, "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear," demonstrates a refusal to acknowledge the complexities within this issue. Lawmakers and politicians continue to most often frame the debate as a choice between security and privacy, as if each inherently negates the other.

In response to revelations regarding surveillance on a mass scale and court cases to determine who may access private data many people have taken to using new precautions and tools to preserve the anonymity of their online actions and communication. Concepts such as cryptography, bitcoin, the deep and dark web, and computer viruses have all become areas of investigation for artists working in many different media.

One of the most widely used methods for securing privacy is the TOR web browser which masks internet activity under multiple layers of encryption using a global network of relay checkpoints run by volunteers. This software opens up a complex arena for both cultural revolution and illegal activity. Critics of this software raise concerns of enabled drug trafficking and piracy while proponents cite the journalists and social activists that are protected from arrest and torture by oppressive governments. For this latter group security fully relies on privacy.

The works in Sphere's Dark Web series gives this virtual activity a physical presence in sculptural forms and drawings while simultaneously adding a further level of abstraction or encryption in the process of translating the data to a new form.

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All works Sphere 2010–

Creative Commons License