Week 12: COMMLAB Final Project Proposal -Madsen (Nghi)


The technology that surrounds individuals in their daily life can often be taken for granted, or overlooked. We find ourselves so consumed by the tasks within our daily lives that it can be hard to notice the intricate details within it. However the seemingly flawless integration of technology into society today should not be overlooked. It should concern individuals, such as you and I, how the technology within society could be used, and how it could affect our lives. I bring this concern to light because in regards to privacy, any individual could be at risk with the technology that exists today. The subject I seek to address through my final project will be the prevalent surveillance in society, made possible only by technology. I’ve selected this subject due to the fact that now, information can be collected about an individual more than ever before. Information is made accessible through the individual’s various interactions with technology. While data and information about an individual can be logged physically, the individual can be additionally tracked digitally. Surveillance is prevalent within the livelihoods of individuals, therefore I believe it is essential to address this aspect in order to understand our relationship with technology today.

To clarify, I don’t have a political goal for my project, the subject of surveillance is simply a compelling component within society. For my project however, I do plan to draw reference from modern artists and activists, Shepard Fairey and Ai Weiwei. The artworks of Fairey and Weiwei communicate their political perceptions. In regards to surveillance, the individual is targeted most often only by governments. The more a nation has been developed, the more advanced technology they have, and the less privacy an individual would possess. I choose to reference these two artists specifically because of the way they choose to display their political perspectives. Fairey and Weiwei portray imbalances of power well through their art, and their approach can be relatable to my project. Fairey and Weiwei’s distinctly political works of art draw possess a the much more modern approach, compared with traditional media. The modern political art created by these two activists provide a strong inspiration to the approach I can take, however my approach will be through a different media.

The final project I have in mind will hopefully consist of audio, visual, and video aspects. I’ve found the style of the early internet artwork, hell.com, intriguing and have decided I could take a similar approach. Using html, css, and javascript, my project will be displayed within a web page open to user interaction. I plan to have a video with a dystopian aesthetic, which ends at a freeze frame, then the user would be free to explore certain components of the website. Specifically, user interaction could be through visual assets which communicates an atmosphere that they are being watched. The interaction could be either an animation, or an enlargement of the asset to emphasize the observant atmosphere. Audio cues could be linked with visual assets to further immerse the user interaction. Through the users interactive experience with the website, I hope to provide a watchful atmosphere which can often go unnoticed within the daily lives of individuals.

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