Exploring hidden surveillance
Veiled Observers is a design ensemble that won the Best Exhibition award in the UC Berkeley Fall 2021 Design Showcase. It explores the relationship between humans and technology in the context of technological and social surveillance. It consists of
- an interactive installation demonstrating modern surveillance with artificial gazes programmed to avoid direct eye contact,
- a color-sensitive display of curated works done by other artists, and
- a podcast episode exploring the power of critical making in subverting authority and surveillance.
Here is a quick walkthrough of the exhibition.
As shown in the demo video below, participants can observe being gazed by the eyeballs behind them through the mirror in the front. However, as soon as they turn back and look at the eyeballs, they divert and pretend to be watching other subjects. This captures how modern surveillance is designed to be hidden and devious.
The color-sensitive display responds to red, green, and blue light with different imagery. Each color corresponds to a piece of related artwork by other artists.
The podcast is an audio documentary featuring Behnaz Farahi, an Iranian-American architect best known for her critical designs of interactive wearables and installations. It will be included as an episode in the MDes Design Frontier podcast series.