Invisibility in the Post-PRISM Age

Drone Shadow (2012) by James Bridle

Invisibility in the Post-PRISM Age
A talk for the Dread Symposium
Amsterdam, 26 October 2013

Credits and References

Sincere thanks to: James Bridle, Julian Oliver, Trevor Paglen, Adam Rutherford, Timo Arnall, José Luis de Vicente, and all the other artists, scientists and technologists cited.


Particle Decelerator:

Talk Title: Quote from China Miéville (see below)

Title Slide: Screenshot of Immaterials: Light Painting WiFi by Timo Arnall, Einar Sneve Martinussen, Jørn Knutsen (2011) (see below)

Artworks/projects referenced in Introduction:

In the Air by Nerea Calvillo & collaborators:
– C-Astral UAV, courtesy of Marko Peljhan
Here Be Dragons: the Unstable Landscapes of GPS by Will Gowland (2011):
New Zealand Wireless Map by Mark Hansen:
oval.maschine by r a d i o q u a l i a (1999). Photographed at CACSA, Adelaide, Australia:
– Honor Harger and Adam Willets, photographed at the Acoustic Space Lab, Latvia, 2001:
Frequency Clock – tactical radio system by r a d i o q u a l i a (1998-2002):
Frequency Clock being used to create, New York, 2002:
Polar Radio by r a d i o q u a l i a and I-TASC, Antarctica, 2007:
Atlas of Electromagnetic Space by Jose Luis de Vicente & Bestario (2008). Co-commissioned by AV Festival:
Aeriology by Joyce Hinterding (2008), exhibited at the Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland, as part of AV Festival:
20Hz by Semiconductor (2011), co-commissioned by Lighthouse:
Mesopotamian Dramatugies (Su & Mayhem) by Kutlug Ataman (2011), exhibited at Brighton Festival 2011:
Evolution of Fearlessness by Lynette Wallworth shown at Brighton Festival 2011: – Laboratory Life (2011):
levelHead by Julian Oliver (2008) shown at Suspending Disbelief, Lighthouse, 2010:
– Happenstance (2012) – residencies for creative technologists:
data.tron [8K enhanced version] by Ryoji Ikeda (2008-09):

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 1:

– Cloud computing survey commissioned by Citrix, August 2012:
– The proposed Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation, New Mexico:
– China Miéville quoted from “Alien Evasion” by China Miéville, published in Arc 1.1, February 2012: The Future Always Wins:

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 2:

Invisible Fields (2011), co-curated by José Luis de Vicente and Honor Harger and at Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona:
20Hz by Semiconductor (2011):
Frequency & Volume by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Immaterials by Timo Arnall, Einar Sneve Martinussen, Jørn Knutsen, Jack Schulze and Matt Jones, Lighthouse, 2013:
Immaterials: Light Painting WiFi by Timo Arnall, Einar Sneve Martinussen, and Jørn Knutsen (2011):
– Timo Arnall quoted in No to NoUI by Timo Arnall, March 2013:
Geographies of Seeing (2012) by Trevor Paglen, co-curated by Honor Harger and Celia Davies, at Lighthouse:
Paglen works shown:
– Artifacts (Spacecraft in Perpetual Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km Above Equator) (2010)
KEYHOLE 12-3 (IMPROVED CRYSTAL) Optical Reconnaissance Satellite Near
Scorpio (USA 129) (2007)
PAN (Unknown; USA-207) (2010)
KEYHOLE IMPROVED CRYSTAL from Glacier Point (Optical Reconnaissance
Satellite; USA 1860) (2008)
After Galileo (Jupiter and Moons)
They Watch the Moon (2010)
National Reconnaissance Office Ground Station (ADF-SW) Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico (2012)
N5177C at Gold Coast Terminal Las Vegas, NV; Distance ~ 1 mile (2007)
Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Center #2, Groom Lake, NV, Distance ~26 Miles (2008)
Reaper Drone, Indian Springs, NV Distance ~ 2 miles (2010)
– Trevor Paglen quoted in “Secret Moons and Black Worlds”, An Interview with Trevor Paglen by Timothy Moore, Volume #25:
– Trevor Paglen quoted in, “Limit Telephotography”, Under Fire research forum, 2006:

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 3:

– William Gibson quoted in Spooky Country (2007):
Hercules Missile Landscape by Mariele Neudecker (2010), being shown at Lighthouse for Brighton Festival 2013:
Drone images:
– Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk:
– A drone pilot at the base at Hancock Field. Image: Heather Ainsworth for The New York Times:
– Untitled (Predators; Indian Springs, NV) by Trevor Paglen (2010)
– Cameras and imaging devices aboard drone aircraft. Image:
– Dronestagram (2012-12) by James Bridle:
– Drone Shadow (2012) by James Bridle:
– Under the Shadow of the Drone (2013) by James Bridle:
– James Bridle quoted in Drone Shadows, 2012:
– James Bridle quoted in Ring of Steel, 2013:
– Julian Oliver quoted in in Rhizome, September 2012:

Artworks/projects referenced in conclusion:

– “Multi-Input RNAi-Based Logic Circuit for Identification of Specific Cancer Cells” by Xie, Wroblewska, Prochazka, Weiss & Benenson, Science, 2 September 2011, Vol. 333:
– Adam Rutherford, speaking at Lighthouse 7 February 2013: & (discusses RNAi-Based Logic Circuit 50:00 minutes in)
SolarSinter by Markus Kayser (2012):
Hostage pt.1 by Frederik de Wilde (2010):
Bacterial Radio by Joe Davis:
Protei by Cesar Harada (2012):
Environmental Health Clinic by Natalie Jeremijenko:
City CPU by Gordan Savi?i? (2011):
New Mumbai by Tobias Revell (2012):


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