Mark Farid - Seeing-I Project - Virtual Talk

Mark Farid Conceptual Art Talk

Accomplished conceptual artist Mark focusses on the ever-growing interplay between technology and human experience
His work frequently embodies hacker ethics and tackles privacy policies, surveillance technologies and critiques social, legal and political models
Utilising new technologies, including VR equipment, Mark brings the age-old question of Nature versus Nurture into the digital age
In this fascinating virtual TedX style talk Mark discusses his performance art and its impact on his sense of self
A frequent participant in art and technology conversations, he has previously appeared on Fox News, Sky News, Arte, BBC Radio 4 and BBC 5Live

Mark Farid Conceptual Art Talk VIDEOS

Mark Farid Conceptual Art Talk PHOTOS

Mark provides a choice of projects to discuss as part of his TedX style talk

Seeing-I Project

Working in conjunction with clinical psychologists, neuroscientists and MIT and University of Cambridge Professors Mark created an incredible psychological experiment in which he will only see the world through other people’s eyes.

Made possible through new VR technology this psychological art experiment examined the implications of surveillance technologies on our personal experience and questioned how much of the individual is an inherent personality and how large a portion of the individual is conditioned through cultural identity.

Each morning Mark put on a virtual reality headset and watched the first-person point-of-view of a different person (the ‚Other‘), from the moment they got up in the morning, to the moment they went to sleep in the evening. Each day, Mark watched a different person’s life, sharing the experience of a range of people from an asylum seeker to a teenager to a 72-year-old woman.  

Each night, after the Other went to sleep, Mark would take off the VR headset and speak to the projects‘ clinical psychologist.

Data Privacy Project
In this exploration of the levels of data constantly and legally harvested, how this creates a portrait of an individual and its impact on digital anonymity and privacy, Mark gave away his entire digital identity by distributing his login details to all his online accounts after a panel discussion. Within minutes complete strangers had changed most of his passwords, from his online banking account to his Apple ID, effectively making the accounts no longer his.  The intent of this was to 'corrupt' or 'delete' the data being stored by confusing and disguising Marks personality with that of whoever was using his account at the time. Essentially making any of the data collected, worthless.

From that point on, and for the following 6 months, Mark lived without a digital footprint. Constantly using and replacing pay-as-you-go phones and sim cards, changing bank accounts, only paying in cash, purchasing weekly travel cards and refusing to use online platforms, Mark illuminated our current dependence on data-storing, social platforms to be able to live any sort of normal existence. Without access to these platforms mark experienced social isolation and recorded a notable negative impact on his cultural and financial life, as well as, his mental stability.