A Media Archeology of Steganography


What: For the exhibition "The Work Of Art In The Age Of Technical Remediation" curated by Darija Medic, I contributed with the work "A Media Archeology of Steganography", which involved a performance during the opening night where I publicly disclosed my invisible work. Other artists include Birgit BachlerGojko DutinaDarija MedićFlorian CramerKarkatag KolektivLuka Knežević Strika and Tatjana Vukelić
Where: Kulturni Centar Požega, Serbia

A Media Archeology of Steganography is an interactive poster that is printed in 3 different types of invisible ink to ensure better protection. Steganography is the art and science of hiding messages in plain sight and invisible inks are one of the longest traditions of steganography spanning 2000 years of history. In order to uncover the whole message, visitors of the show were invited to activate the poster with 3 different kinds of activation methods, discovering secret writing and it's tactical and strategical use throughout history. 

This work is a part of Tactics and Poetics of Invisibility, a research project into how analog forms of steganography may be able to make up for deficiencies of digital communication and provide possible solutions to securer communication in the age of pervasive online surveillance. Today, we are experiencing accelerating change explicit in the exponential rate of technological change. The more change speeds up creating newer products that are 'faster' and 'better', the more obsolete technology, abandoned tools, media and spaces are created. The innovation of modern cryptography parallels the accelerating rate of omnipresent surveillance technologies. The arms race between the crypto-makers and crypto-breakers is developing in such advanced levels of technical complexity that only computer experts are able to protect themselves with secure technology, leaving behind many to rely on insecure technology or nothing at all. As such, this project attempts to revaluate and reclaim obsolete analog steganographic techniques as a way to combat surveillance in more tangible, everyday and accessible approaches. Through analog forms of steganography it aims to investigate the tactics of evading the digital gaze on one hand and on the other hand explore the poetic potential in forming alternative modes of communication to strengthen community bonds. This project is Supported by CBK Rotterdam (Centre for Visual Arts Rotterdam).

Photos by Maja Medic and myself