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Surveillance

Nye Thompson's new installation finds unsecured video streams and interprets them with AI. Inspired by this, she explores the role of the artist in our world of mass surveillance.

Nye Thompson's new installation finds unsecured video streams and interprets them with AI. Inspired by this, she explores the role of the artist in our world of mass surveillance.

Named The Seeker, Nye's latest piece is an autonomous machine that identifies video streams across the globe and describes what it sees. Recently Nye has been using the world's unsecured footage from as material for her art. In doing so she has questioned what it means to have the tools of surveillance in our homes and our pockets.

Today surveillance extends far beyond CCTV. Image recognition enables machines to identify what they see and an even more accurate portrait is available through our data; browsing history, social media posts, message logs and countless other areas. The Edward Snowden leaks brought such techniques into the public eye five years ago. Since then these methods have continued apace with technological advancement, often on the grounds of making our lives simpler and safer.

Alongside the unveiling of her new work, Nye seeks out others across the art world occupied by what surveillance means today and what art can tell us about its practices, its ethical boundaries and its future.

Produced by Sam Peach.

Available now

28 minutes