Tactics of Disappearance in a world of pixels

Tactics of disappearance in a world of pixels (TDWP) is a collection of three designs all inspired by the idea of an absolute surveillance state. The collection consists of Transparent Surveillance Station, Surveillance Free Area and Facemasks. Each design investigates different ways of retaining privacy. The collection was exhibited at DOKK1 Aarhus as part of Internet Week Aarhus Denmark 2017. The collection is designed in collaboration with Arne Knutinge-Kaas and Marie Naja Lauritzen.

Transparent Surveillance Station

Transparent Surveillance Station (TSS) allows the user to access live-surveillance of different areas inside DOKK1. While the user believes the videos on the screen are live streamed, in reality we have recorded the videos in advance with permission of DOKK1. The design is different to the other two designs, because it is not a tactic of disappearance. Instead it is staging the absolute surveillance state. The prototype consists of a screen and a Arduino and Processing controlled console through which the user can shift to different camera channels - Including one, showing the inside of a rest room.

Surveillance Free Area

Surveillance Free Area (SFA) is a prototype of our conceptual idea of a public surveillance free area. The prototype consists of a white canvas, a video projector, a camera and a computer running Processing. The camera is placed behind the canvas and films visitors standing in a marked area. The video footage is processed and the projector casts a pixelated output on the other side of the canvas. The prototype demonstrates the idea of being anonymous in a public space.


By simply 3D printing a mask to cover different facial parts, the masks can easily fool the algorithms behind the surveillance states facial recognition systems. As part of the exhibition the Facemasks concept was prototyped through showcasing different 3D printed face parts and a TV-screen with a connected Kinect camera. The visitors were able to try on the face parts and see how the Kinect camera still recognized them as human while changing the biometric net of their faces.

Content & design by Thomas Pedersen 2018.