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Hasan Elahi, Artist, San Jose

Tracking Transience: The Orwell Project




October 13, 2008; 77 Minutes; Video

Artist Hasan Elahi describes his experiences with FBI interrogation and his subsequent art project in a public lecture, as part of UC Berkeley's ongoing Art, Technology, and Culture Colloquium.

After an erroneous tip called into law enforcement authorities in 2002, Elahi was subjected to an intensive post-September 11 investigation by the FBI. After undergoing months of interrogations and nine lie detector tests, he was cleared of suspicions. After this harrowing experience, Elahi conceived “Tracking Transience” (http://trackingtransience.net), a self-tracking system that constantly and publicly presents his exact location, activities, and other personal data. This self-surveillance project is a critique of contemporary investigative techniques and provides an ongoing “alibi” for Elahi in the event of future accusations.