On Watch: Ushahidi

Summary: I was hired by the Kansas City Art Institute’s Artspace Gallery to create an interactive representation of Ushahidi, a non-profit tech company that specializes in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping.

For this, I designed and developed a large touchscreen display, allowing the user to view videos, images, and information about Ushahidi’s general purpose, as well as five key deployments: Kenya, Haiti, Louisiana, Libya, and RED.

Ushahidi Project Site

On WatchThe present culture of surveillance is an outcome of new technologies, social media networks, unprecedented access to information, an increased willingness on the part of individuals to share personal information, global security concerns and a deep desire to feel safe.

“On Watch” features five artists and a pioneering project team of human-rights activists whose works explore the presence of surveillance strategies in contemporary art and culture and the disappearing divide between private and public life.

The artists depict and deploy a range of historic and technologically advanced methods used to observe, share and archive information about others and oneself, including architecture, investigative research, aerial surveillance, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), sousveillance and social media.

While surveillance may result in conditions that create information access and sharing, convenience, a sense of safety and direction and evidential proof of innocence or guilt, its reality demands our participation as we watch and as we are watched by others who wish to know who we are, how we live, what we buy and where we go.

Press:

The Pitch
The Kansas City Star
KCPT – The Local Show

Artspace website: select “Press”