SITUATION #98: Hasan Elahi, Prism v2.0.5, 2017


Fotomuseum Winterthur

Prism v2.0.5, inkjet-print, 2017 © Hasan Elahi

In 2002, American media artist Hasan Elahi was detained and interrogated by the FBI on his return flight to the USA. The reason? Suspected of terrorism. For more than six months, he was repeatedly called in by the authorities. Any foreign travel had to be notified in advance. This sparked the idea of undertaking a self-surveillance project, which he named Tracking Transience (2003–) and in which he has been documenting his life online over the past 14 years. Years before the flood of images via smartphone, flickr and instagram began to inundate the web, Elahi set about consistently photographing all the places he visited. He uploads his pictures to his website, where his current location can always be pinpointed via GPS. In Elahi’s wall-spanning photomontage Prism v2.0.5 (2017) a variety of immersive systems clash. Huge black and white aerial images show the NSA headquarters – one of the world’s hubs of international surveillance. These are contrasted by a small-scale mosaic of photographs featuring Elahi’s own self-surveillance.

More by Hasan Elahi:

Kindly supported by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and Temperatio Foundation.

Cluster: Immersive