No hay mal que por bien no venga, (every cloud has silver lining)

Every so often, (rather too often) a huge bombarding wave of paranoia and astonishment invades the social media with discussions on privacy, security, access or restrains to personal/private information. Are we safe?Image

Photo by: Brechtbug http://flickeflu.com/set/72157622695972130

More than two decades have passed since Shepard Fairey created his Giant, the living and iconic graphic to the “big brother’s syndrome”. We are all well aware of the fact that we are constantly being watched, observed, followed and recorded. For the most part, we generally just give in, and continue with our life’s ignoring the fact.

One of my personal favorites responses actions against surveillance and the kidnapping of our individual Rights, is Chinese artist Ai Weiwei self surveillance project in which he installed webcams, set up in various locations around Mr. Ai’s already highly paroled house in northern Beijing, began broadcasting live on the website weiweicam.com on April 2, a year to the day after the artist was apprehended at in nearly three-month period of detention and interrogation by state security agents, without apparent reason or signifier.Image

His original intention, was to leave the cameras on, for the same amount of time, he had given interviews stating that his action was one of service for the Chinese authorities, whom seemed so eager to get in to his private grounds, so he complied and created a website, where they could see him in his house arrest at all hours of the day. How ever, the cameras went off less than 48 hours after the project started, so I guess big brother did not agree with Ai´s original good intentions.

For more info on the project:

http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2012/04/05/ai-weiwei-ordered-to-stop-self-surveillance/

http://www.france24.com/en/20120405-ai-weiwei-china-surveillance-censorship-dissident-art

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/ai-wieweis-self-surveillance-is-shut-down/

I do have issues with surveillance, and over “protection”, yet I pass by an easygoing type. I am not a big fan of social networks, so usually I stay on the peripheral of this discussion, how ever, just this morning when trying to pay for groceries, my credit card was declined. That I do participate in, I mean, girls gotta eat.  When calling to the bank, they explained, that my card had been cloned, reprinted and the use of my pin recorded from a previous use of my belongings, when taking money out of a public ATM. Chances are super low that the bank will respond for this fraud, even when while being on the phone canceling the card there was another transaction made on my behalf. They say that they can’t confirm it was not me who made those withdrawals and with the biggest frustration I just asked the person on the other line, but this call is being monitored and recorded for quality assurance, right?

By now I should know that they are looking, recording, taking. But there aint nobody watching over us; and the worst of it is, that since there is not a real being who to blame, I am angry at my self… I sure had a round of arm wrestling against myself, as soon as I hung up the phone. How could I have not realized sooner that my money was simply dripping away for days and days?

The lesson to the story is to increase all modes to the maximum security, change passwords and check balance after each inquiry. I will go on forced diet, fulfill the expected role of a starving artist and look amazing in the summer. Thanks thieves!

Image

*** by the way, I can´t be a bigger fan than I already am: Ai weiwei is recording a heavy metal album!

For more…

http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/ai-weiwei-is-making-a-rock-album/

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