Digital (Dis)connections

Royal Academy Lates 24.10.16

A collaboration with Joanne Harik.


This project is a response to the growth of digital surveillance as a means of oppression. During the Arab spring, popular uprisings found huge power in using digital tools, however this empowerment was swiftly reversed as totalitarian regimes used online networks to violently suppress dissent.

Wikileaks and Snowden showed this digital surveillance to be even more prevalent in the 'free democracies' of the west. As designers we wanted to redress this balance, finding ways to circumvent the high-tech surveillance by looking towards clever but low tech acts of resistance.

This project aimed to allow the use of digital tools that defeated the computerised surveillance networks. The concept was developed into a piece of software that demonstrated this process for RA Lates : Digital (Dis)connections. Visitors could work in pairs to encrypt, send and decrypt messages between themselves.

All Rights Reserved. Tom Gayler 2015