Supplement to Simone Browne reading- “The Art of Security” and “Conclusion”

Pamela Z Baggage Allowance (2011)

Baggage Allowance is a sonically and visually layered intermedia work developed by Pamela Z in three interconnected components– a solo multi-media performance, a gallery installation, and an interactive web portal – all with shared content and materials.

Through vocal performance with electronic processing, found text, and recorded interviews, multi-channel sound, interactive video, and sculptural objects, Baggage Allowance scans and inventories the belongings (and memories) we all cart around. The work explores the concept of baggage in its many senses – physical, intellectual, and emotional – baggage as impediment and baggage as treasure.

Drawing from Ms. Z’s extensive traveling and cartage experiences, text from found sources, and interviews with travelers who speak poetically about their memories of train travel and flying and their numerous baggage-related stories, the work features episodes that touch upon the ball-and-chain-ness of dragging one’s things all over the world.

The installation consists of multiple audio, video, and sculptural elements including a weeping steamer trunk, a mock X-ray machine that reveals secrets when bags pass through it, and a vintage suitcase inside of which lies a woman sleeping and worrying. The solo performance includes a series of vignettes and episodes relating to the cartage and attachment performed with live voice, electronic processing, and interactive video. All the versions of this work explore the concept of baggage in its many senses– physical, intellectual, and emotional – baggage as impediment and baggage as treasure.

The Performance

The Installation

The Web Portal:

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Evan Roth TSA Communication (Art in Airports) (2008)

TSA Communication is a project that alters the airport security experience, inviting the government to learn more about passengers than just the contents of their carry on bags. Messages are cut into thin 13″ x 10″ sheets of stainless steel designed to comfortably fit inside airline carry on baggage. During the x-ray screening process, the technology normally designed to view the contents of a traveler’s baggage is transformed into a communication tool for displaying messages aimed at airport security. The content of the plates varies from flight to flight, but includes “NOTHING TO SEE HERE”, an image of the American flag and the TSA’s (Transportation Security Agency’s) mission statement as listed on its website, “I AM THE FRONTLINE OF DEFENSE, DRAWING ON MY IMAGINATION TO CREATIVELY PROTECT AMERICA FROM HARM”.

Sourced from 


Digital Art Exhibition at Toronto Pearson International Airport
Terminal 1 – Level 3 Terrace, Departures Level 
July 1, 2007 – May 5, 2008

Terminal Zero One (T01) is a site-specific digital art exhibition of five projects exploring themes of contemporary air travel and the architecture of airports. Airports are networks, information is increasingly networked, the T01 exhibit examines people as data, motion as trajectories and the symbiosis of virtual and actual.

The public is invited to experience the projects via touch sensitive screens, SMS text messaging, a webcam and as a controlled 3D avatar navigating through a simulated terminal. Track real-time flight activity originating from Pearson International Airport through a live data stream. Reinterpret the familiar by manipulating universal airport symbols and flight information screens. Engage in dialogue about controversial issues of international security and human rights. T01 is a portal into digital artworks that reflect the technology, movement and connectivity of the contemporary international airport – a transitory space where notions of borders, time and place are temporarily suspended.

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Hito Steyerl- “HOW NOT TO BE SEEN: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV file” 2013

“On the face of it, Steyerl’s HOW NOT TO BE SEEN: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File (2013), which MoMA acquired earlier this year, is what its title purports it to be: a sly parody of an instructional video (the first part of the title borrowed from a Monty Python sketch). Each of the work’s four sections outlines some tongue-in-cheek strategies to avoid being seen—from hiding in plain sight, to shrinking down to a unit smaller than a pixel, to living in a gated community, to being female and over 50 years old. A seemingly automated male voice reads out the instructions in a droll English accent, and Steyerl herself, along with several faceless figures (the kind you’d see in a simulated architectural model), demonstrate the proposed methods. Many of them, like to shrink, to swipe, and to take a picture, are accompanied by gestures familiar from the iPhone—pointing to the fact that the bodies in question here exist in (and take their choreographic cues from) a world that’s at once virtual and material.” –  Leora Morinis

Link to full article: 

Adrian Piper

Adrian PiperCornered, 1988

Medium: Video installation with birth certificates; single-channel video, color, sound; monitor; table; chairs
Dimensions: Dimensions variable
Credit Line: Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Bernice and Kenneth Newberger Fund (1990.4.a-p). Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago

Throughout her career, Adrian Piper has provocatively analyzed cultural biases and their impact on the individual, holding firmly to her conviction that art can operate as a catalyst for change. Cornered entangles viewers spatially and intellectually in the moral, social, and political complexities of racial determination. Positioned defensively in a corner behind an upturned table, the video features the artist speaking directly to viewers, informing them about the history of miscegenation in America and challenging people to honestly address their black ancestry.

Interview with Adrian Piper: