The Search Drive (2014)

 

http://www.aqnb.com/2016/06/28/an-interview-with-warren-neidich/

 

 

The Search Drive (2014) is a video work in which some of the same software programs utilized by the NSA to spy on Americans and foreign nationals, residing in America and abroad, are used by an autonomous agent to search through the web for personal and classified information about myself. Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Instagram are hacked and ransacked. As such it traces over time an autobiographical sketch of my comings and goings, activities and friendships. I am calling this a Hack-ography. In the course of that analysis a number of things are revealed. One is my relationship with my assistant Ashiq Khondker, a 3rd Culture Bengali-Singaporean-American, whose actual activities are blurry but hypothetically link him to radical causes in Berlin and the Far East. In one image he is hanging out with Pussy Riot and in another wearing Egyptian robes. That I am a radical artists with anarchistic tendencies who has worked in Egypt with many Islamic musicians, as well as Franco Berardi the political activist, and have wired Ashiq money, creates a narrative of implied guilt by association to popular fears confusing Islam and Islamic fundamentalism. A fiction based on unconfirmed facts is thus built and now substitutes for any actual portrait I might actually have or had. A uncorroborated story of a fictitious life grows into a kind of monstrosity the result of a program gone haywire. This picture is full of flaws and leads to the necessity of my eradication. The need for courts of laws and warrants is not necessary. An algorithm is set in motion which brings together face and voice profiling systems and links it to a GPS location program. After my location has been determined, I am in fact in St. Petersburg, Russia performing an improvisational sound work called “NSA:USA Sound as Prophecy” which looks into whether Edward Snowden is a villain or hero, the drone program is set in motion to search and to eradicate my physical body leaving only my avatar soul to meander aimlessly in the networks of the virtual forever.