05 – 20 August 2016
The Cass Bank Gallery
The Cass, London Metropolitan University presents Backdoored.io, an exhibition by Nye Thompson, curated by Kosha Hussain, showing a collection of images captured from unprotected domestic surveillance cameras around the world, on public display for the first time.
Using algorithms to robotically harvest these images from search engines, Thompson exposes our vulnerability in cyberspace, disclosing just how unwittingly we open ‘backdoors’ into some of our most private spaces. A postgraduate Fine Art alumna of The Cass, for this show Thompson has chosen to focus her disquieting research on a small residential community in Hong Kong, in which many of the inhabitants have mass-installed surveillance cameras into their homes.
As part of the exhibition, an uncensored live feed of images will be brought from the Internet into the gallery in real-time, putting viewers face to face with their inner voyeur, and exposing the darker side of the interconnected world we live in.
Nye Thompson says, “These images demonstrate the hidden risks underlying our passion for ‘convenience technologies’. The people whose lives and homes are captured here have no idea that by installing ‘home security’ webcams they have opened their private lives to a watching world. By collecting and exhibiting the images, I hope to highlight the chilling implications of a future where we are willingly exposing ourselves, becoming more and more dependent on Internet-connected devices of this kind.”
Thompson documents the ‘big data era’, where robots, artificial intelligence, governments and larger-than-government corporations all feed on the personal data trails we generate.
Backdoored.io acts as a stark warning towards our continued indulgence for virtual realms, investigating our relationship with technology and the hidden agendas of digital culture; and challenging our notions of privacy and authorship in an age of technological automation.
– Ends –
Social Media hashtags and handles
The Backdoored archive
The Cass, London Metropolitan University
59-63 Whitechapel High Street, London, E1 7PF
Thursday- Friday 11.00am-6.00pm
Private View 04 August 6.30pm- 09.00pm
For further information, images and interviews on the exhibition:
020 7713 9388
Marta Bogna-Drew: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
Fine Art at The Cass
Fine Art courses at The Cass include BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Painting, MA By Project (Fine Art), and MA Curating the Contemporary in partnership with Whitechapel Gallery. From September 2017 the faculty is offering a new practice-oriented MFA programme led by Bob and Roberta Smith.
The Cass is the Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. It is one of four faculties within the University. The Cass teaches about 2500 students at Foundation, Degree and Postgraduate level at two buildings in Aldgate. Subjects include Animation, Architecture, Film Production, Fine Art, Fashion, Furniture, Graphics, Illustration, Interior Design, Jewellery, Music Technology, Musical Instrument Making, Photography, Product Design and Textiles.
The Faculty also offers 200 short and professional development courses. There is a strong emphasis across the studios on socially engaged Architecture, Art and Design applied to both local and global contexts, a Faculty-wide interest in making and many projects focus on aspects of London. Students at The Cass are encouraged to learn through practice, experiment with process and gain real-world experience in both individual and collaborative projects, engaging with professionals, communities and companies.
Nye Thompson’s childhood was spent in the quiet Welsh seaside town of Aberystwyth. Her first degree was in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, where many of her classmates went onto become Young British Artist superstars. She took a different path and started working with computers, when the web was invented in the early 90s she was in the first wave of creatives to get involved, working for many years in web technologies, specialising in human computer interaction, software design and ‘big data’.
Her practice is investigative and analytical, often operating in response to materials at hand or scientific principles. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the tangible and the virtual, and the interface between the two.
She works across a range of media, often with ready-made manufactured and industrial objects, or with found digital images. Her work incorporates elements of physical computing, using sensors, software and the latest DIY technologies to transfer the virtual back into the physical domain.
Kosha Hussain is an independent curator and exhibition make based in London. He has worked at the Saatchi Gallery, ArtsLav, Southbank Centre, TestBed1, TRIAD and Mosaic Rooms. His most recently made exhibition Toys (Are Us) in the Crypt Gallery featured over 20 international artists. Other Shows include, Darren Evans: My Mates From The Pub (2015), Lambeth Histories (2015), CUE (2015) and SIRENS (2015).