Expo Crypto, an interactive installation created for by Matthew Wizinsky, Assistant Professor UIC Graphic Design, for the Starts/Speculations exhibition at the Chicago Design Museum, has been accepted to Intersections in Art & Engineering, an international expo & challenge tour. Along with other selected entries, the project will be displayed at three venues with regional cultural & engineering judges at each. Venues are Laconia, New Hampshire; Bologna, Italy; and Shenzhen, China.
Global telecommunications, social media, and pervasive surveillance have produced an enduring tension between the desire to freely and conveniently exchange personal information and the desire to maintain selective privacy. Cryptography has shifted from the lore of military history and spy stories to a crucial function of everyday communications. Meanwhile, Chicago has developed one of the most sophisticated surveillance camera networks in the world, in which almost any square inch of the city can be seen, identified, and tracked. Combined with facial recognition, gesture control, and remote data processing, we can imagine a fluid environment of media interactivity based solely on computer vision. What if we authored our own visual cryptographic systems—not just for transmission of information but for its public display? Expo Crypt speculates tapping into this camera network as an interface to publicly perform personal encryption spectacles—private data visualized through unique cryptographies. Will we truly liberate our most personal actions and information from institutional surveillance and commodification? Or will we only be hiding the mundane details of existence from our neighbors? We’ll see!