|All images: Driesdepoorter.be|
– Vores interview med Dries Depoorter bringes på engelsk, da korrespondancen med den belgiske kunstner har foregået på dette sprog.
Belgian artist Dries Depoorter has a mission: Through his arts he wants us to question the constant surveillance we are subjected to – and it might make us feel uncomfortable.
The work Jaywalking can be experienced at this year’s Trailerpark Festival starting today. Here Depoorter invites his audience to a live streaming experience of pedestrians crossing a road at a traffic light. Webcams will blabber whether the pedestrian has crossed the road when he is allowed to or not. Depoorter’s audience can thus press a button if he is caught crossing at red light, which will send an e-mail and a screenshot of the “Jaywalker” directly to the nearest police station.
Would you dare to press the button if finding yourself in front of the work at Trailerpark Festival? We are not sure ourselves but we are certainly curious to get to know more about the artist behind Jaywalking Read the Q&As here!
– In your own words what is Jay Walking about?
Jaywalking is about the future of police automatisation. Is a good that we’re gonna have a fine by just the most simple things like walking through a red light?
This piece is also about surveillance and the tools I can build to make this possible. Most of the time I’m using open source tools.
For the moment I’m working on a new project called JayWalking Frames. It’s exist out of photo frames of people walking through red lights all over the world captured with my software and using surveillance camera’s. I curate the jaywalking photo’s and put them in Photoframes. If you want to buy them you have to pay the same price as the fine in that country.
So the money doesn’t go to the police but to me as an artist. Most of the time you pay 50 dollar or each Jaywalking photo frame.
– Jay Walking is questioning the power of the authorities – is your art a riot against authorities or more the digital age we live in?
It’s not a riot. It just brings up questions of the time we live in.
– What are your thoughts about the technologies you use for your work? Taken into consideration that they constantly evolve.
Technology is my main inspiration. Most of the time it’s a spark for a new project. But I try to be original with these new technologies.
I don’t feel making a painting because the tool already exists.
– It seems like your project is to make the things we surround ourselves with – but do not see or think about visible. Is that correctly understood?
Yes. In a lot of projects I just combine data or technology with sometimes an interesting result.
– When using all these data as for instance in your work “Tinder In” (one of Drie’s older works that matches a person’s Tinder photos and frames them with the same individual’s LinkedIn profile photo), don’t you think that turns you into some kind of a Big Brother of someone who plays “God” with all us ignorant others?
It was a choice to make TinderIn a manual process. First I was think to make a script where I combine hundreds combinations of Tinder & LinkedIn pictures. But I think it’s stronger to
do it manually so I show everyone can do this. That was a choice.
– Everything about surveillance and online privacy seems invisible to the “normal eye”. Is it with works like yours that we really start to think about it? And are you doing us a favour?
No, I don’t do you a favour. I hope it start raising question.
– Is your work ethical? Do you feel the need to fight for the knowledge of how much surveillance we actually are being exposed to?
I show what is possible with surveillance and the tools I have. I don’t want to be that artist with the heavy and boring message.
– If you had lived 100 years ago, what kind of artist would you have been?
Most of my inspiration comes from technology. So I probably did some projects with a phonograph, typewriter or a radio receiver.
I always wanted to become an inventor when I was young. Sometimes I feel like this.
|Tinder In: Side by Side profile pictures of LinkedIn & Tinder of the same person.|