Simon Denny

Secret Power

Secret PowerSimon Denny Secret Power

source: baozang
David Darchicourt在NSA(美国国家安全局)做平面设计师和艺术指导,从业17多年,给许多政监项目画过插图,不经意间在一个NSA图像展中成了中心人物。

在圣马可国家图书馆(Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana,位于威尼斯圣马可广场,是文艺复兴时期留下的大型图书馆)里,一些Darchicourt为NSA做的设计和意大利历史知名的画家Veronese和Titian的16世纪画作放在一起展览。

这位前NSA职工的工作被挑选进了一个叫“Secret Power”的项目中,是新西兰32岁艺术家Simon Denny为今年国际艺术双年展而创建的。Denny把NSA泄密者斯诺登泄露的机密文件里的图像搬到生活中,挖掘这些视觉图片中包含的深层信息。

这位艺术家在新闻机构已发布的一些斯诺登披露的文件中选择了各种图片,并开始把它们精心设置为一个系列,耗时18个月。

Denny从德国一个动物标本制作师那获得了一只鹰,把NSA特殊行动计划使用的标志做成了三维立体版。他把那只鹰做成动态,在他挑选的那些图片架上飞翔,其中包括斯诺登透露的“MYSTIC”监视行动,一只在一罐酸性物质中燃烧的狐狸(一幅关于NSA黑客计划的图)。

他还再现了《终结者》风格的金属骷髅,这是NSA一个把全球网络分布地图计划的标志。还有来自英国的NSA文件,去年被The Intercept网站公布出来,这份文件讲的是利用欺骗和操纵办法来对付他们的目标人群。

但是Denny和他的团队并不是单纯靠记者已发布的东西进行整合做的这个展览,他们自己也做了些调查,追踪了Darchicourt这个人并把他变成了这个项目的中心人物。

Darchicourt于1994~2012年期间为NSA工作,除了为一些秘密侦查行动画图之外还为一些面向公众的项目(如“CryptoKids”系列卡通人物,用来让孩子了解NSA机构)画图。

Darchicourt离开NSA之后成为了一个自由的美工,利用LinkedIn和Behance来接活,Denny就是通过这个渠道找到他的。

在图书馆的展览中,Denny展出了一幅以Darchicourt为原型的卡通人物图,细节包括他的背景、他为NSA画的作品,都是从他的网上档案和照片那搜集来的。他还委托Darchicourt给他画一张新西兰地图以及该国本土的蜥蜴卡通图把这些也都放到展览上了。不过他并没告诉Darchicourt他打算把这些都展览出来,打算给他个惊喜。

Denny说他想把Darchicourt作为中心让人们考虑斯诺登泄露文件的版权,因为他的泄露Darchicourt这个图像作者顺其自然地就浮出来了。他说“我们看过许多伟大的、富有力量的画,但我们往往不知道这些画的作者是谁。NSA的计划被不少人关注了,但从没人注意视觉图。”

他认为图像包含一些文本不能交代的信息,比如他们的办公室,或是说这些秘密计划背后的信息,为这些计划卖命的人各有什么利益相关,这些图可以洞察项目的背景信息。

Denny说大部分NSA的图像都是魔幻、梦幻、军事史和网络meme文化的画风,而他们的文件通常涉及地图、环球,只是粗略介绍如何达到间谍目的。图片会包含更多微小细节和文化背景。

Denny在斯诺登披露这些之前并不十分了解政府监视的问题,但是斯诺登的揭发让他有了兴趣。而在他了解之后更是震惊了,尤其是当他知道新西兰在“Five Eyes”情报联盟里的关键作用之后。自此他开始研究者这个方面的问题,在新西兰记者Nicky Hager1996年出版的书《Secret Power》中找到灵感,展览以书名命名也是为了向Hager致敬。并招募了Hager一起参加他的计划,对内容提出建议做顾问。

Denny现在在分享他所学到的东西,来让更多人知道揭露监视的相关意义。他的这个展览将一直持续到11月下旬,在威尼斯机场有设临时展览点,吸引了各个年龄段的游客驻足。

令人惊讶的是有人连斯诺登是谁都不知道,在看到这些信息之后也感到非常吃惊。至于Darchicourt则说确实给了他“惊喜”,当他发现Denny的项目之后看到自己的作品处于中心地位……并且和斯诺登的揭秘事件有了牵扯。他说:“我想这是Denny的一个小目标之一,他以此显示他能得到我的信息并且在我不知情的情况下用了它,正如NSA所做的一样。”

Darchicourt说他并没有参与设计Denny展览里出现的斯诺登文件中的大部分图像,比如那只鹰。但他承认自己画了那个骷髅。他并不计划去看这次展览因为他并不想被当成NSA的代表对Denny的工作表示赞同。不过他看过那些图片,虽然他说持中立态度,但看到自己的作品出现在文艺复兴时期的建筑中还是觉得很有意思。

他说:“这是一种恭维,但也有点吓人。”他现在正在考虑要不要把网上档案、资料中的照片都给删掉以防以后再被他人盗用。他说:“所有和NSA的照片我都会删除,那都是过去了……我以后真的不会再认这个组织了。”
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source: vimeo
Artist Simon Denny talks us through “Secret Power,” his exhibition representing New Zealand, which uncovers the imagery of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, comprised of the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In towering vitrines built from computer servers, Denny gathers images and ephemera from the Snowden leaks, the NSA’s design decks, and gaming visuals that inform the aesthetics of intelligence networks. Situated within the over-400-year-old Biblioteca Marciana, a lavish Renaissance repository for some of the world’s oldest maps and documents, the exhibition connects current intelligence networks to past systems of record-gathering. “This project is a mirror of the intelligence-gathering world itself, and I’m trying to turn that mirror onto imagery it produces and onto imagery from the past,” says Denny.
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source: simondennysecretpower
In recent years, Simon Denny’s research-based art projects have explored aspects of technological evolution and obsolescence, corporate and neoliberal culture, national identity, tech-industry culture, and the internet.

His Biennale Arte 2015 project, Secret Power, was partly prompted by the impact of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s leaks of PowerPoint slides outlining top-secret US telecommunications surveillance programmes to the world media, which began in 2013. These slides highlighted New Zealand’s role in US intelligence work, as a member of the US-led Five Eyes alliance. Now in the open, the slides have come to represent international surveillance work and its impact on individual privacy.

The New Zealand pavilion is split across two state buildings: the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana (Marciana Library), in Piazzetta San Marco, in the heart of the city, and the terminal at Marco Polo Airport, on the outskirts.

In the Library, Denny has installed a server room, with server racks and a workstation. In addition to holding computer equipment, the server racks and workstation double as vitrines, displaying a case study in NSA visual culture, consisting of sculptural and graphic elements based on the work of a former NSA designer and Creative Director of Defense Intelligence David Darchicourt and the Snowden slide archive, suggesting links in iconography and treatment. The server room resonates with the Library’s decorated Renaissance-period interior, with its maps and allegorical paintings—Denny’s inquiry into the current iconography of geopolitical power being framed within an obsolete one.

The Airport terminal—a busy hub for millions of travellers—incorporates restricted spaces, surveillance spaces, and interrogation spaces, and is equipped with high-tech security systems. Denny has ‘dragged-and-dropped’ two actual-size photographic reproductions of the Library’s decorated interior across the floor and walls of the arrivals lounge, traversing the border between Schengen and non-Schengen space. The installation incorporates plaques that reproduce examples of early maps from the Library’s collection, which could be mistaken for advertisements for what’s currently on show there.

Secret Power is site specific, exploring La Biennale Arte di Venezia, the Library, and the Airport as media. Denny hints at geopolitical imperatives that cross-reference and distinguish these frames. Completed in 1588, the Library represents the Republic of Venice as a wealthy world power during the Renaissance. Established in 1895, La Biennale is premised on a model of national representation that seems obsolete today, in a time of cosmopolitan global art. Completed soon after 9/11, the Airport represents a new era of global security.

Denny’s project is a complex puzzle. Each element is nested in and reframed by other elements in an expanding allegory, making interpretation potentially interminable. And yet, despite this, Denny gets us close to his ostensible subject—the visual language of western intelligence agencies. Paradoxically, he places himself and us (as artist and viewers) in positions oddly analogous to these agencies, as we trawl through data and metadata, engaging in analytics, pattern recognition, and profiling, trying to make sense of things.

Secret Power takes its title from investigative journalist Nicky Hager’s 1996 book, which first revealed New Zealand’s involvement in US intelligence gathering.
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source: designerblogit
Ad animarlo è l’estro dell’artista Simon Denny, che ha allestito la sua mostra Secret Power fra l’aeroporto Marco Polo e la Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, sarà infatti possibile immergersi in una strana realtà fatta di arte e spionaggio (l’esposizione prende spunto dall’alleanza di intelligence Five Eyes, stretta fra i paesi occidentali a cultura e lingue anglofone quali Stati Uniti, Regno Unito, Canada, Australia e Nuova Zelanda), un mix sulle righe che però Denny riesce a gestire perfettamente.

Nella Biblioteca Marciana, Denny ha scelto di rivoluzionare il concetto di “teca”, optando invece per dei rack, come quelli usati per contenere i server nei centri di raccolta dati. Al loro interno campeggiano le sue opere, interpretazioni scultoree dei supporti visivi usati dai servizi segreti per illustrare programmi e operazioni.

Il tutto è contornato dalla presenza di mappe, basate sugli studi geografici e le informazioni raccolte da esploratori del calibro di Marco Polo, elementi importanti per far comprendere quanto i servizi di intelligence si basino sui dati.

Per i viaggiatori in sosta all’aeroporto veneziano, lo scenario è invece differente. Il gate degli arrivi, dai pavimenti fino al nastro che trasporta i bagagli, è infatti stato ricoperto con celebri riproduzioni pittoriche veneziane risalenti al 1500, periodo in cui la Serenissima rappresentava ancora una potenza a livello internazionale.

Resta da svelare il mistero sul nome della mostra scelto dal suo creatore. Ebbene, la musa dell’artista di Auckland è stato il libro Secret Power – New Zealand’s Role in the International Spy Network del giornalista investigativo Nicky Hager, testo incentrato sull’operato del GCSB, l’agenzia di intelligence più importante della Nuova Zelanda.

Non è quindi un caso che la mostra di Simon Denny includa anche una pubblicazione di 184 pagine che ha lo stesso titolo e che riporta al suo interno interviste, saggi e materiale raccolto durante la realizzazione di questa esposizione. Un modo per comprendere bene il modus operandi dell’autore che, proprio a proposito di Secret Power dice:

In seguito alle rivelazioni di Snowden* sono state numerose le analisi e le spiegazioni sul ruolo di queste agenzie. Ma è anche interessante avvicinarsi alle loro pratiche attraverso la comunicazione visiva, da un punto di vista principalmente culturale, offrendo una nuova prospettiva sui valori e sul funzionamento di queste potenti burocrazie, anche per ricordarci a che punto il funzionamento del potere può essere affascinante.
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source: idisturato
Kada se u jednom projektu sretnu i spoje motivi renesansne Biblioteke Nazionale Marciane arhitekta Jacopa Sansovina, ulazno-kontrolni hal aerodroma Marco Polo u Veneziji te umjetnički izričaj i dizajn američke nacionalne sigurnosne agencije – NSA, s njihovim dizajnerom David Darchicourtom, dobijemo site specific instalaciju, umjetnički rad novozelandskog umjetnika Simona Dennyja, “Secret Power”.