The Argus project
The Argus Project is a performance intervention, video installation and wearable sculpture. It is the ongoning conversation and physical development of countersurveillance armour for the citizen. The (mark one) active armour prototype debuted in the Storyscapes of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival. More information about the ongoing project can be found here.
This project, which is in continuing development, approaches the dynamic of citizen and authority in several ways. Argus references Argus Panoptes - the guardian of a hundred eyes from Greek mythology. The Argus suit is built to integrate 360' and multiple views from inset cameras mounted over the soft armour. To provide a live-stream record of body in space, both as what the wearer would see and beyond: Argus provides conscious and passive surveillance of a situation. As personal as a mobile phone footage and as objective as car park security camera.
Argus is styled somewhere between a SWAT team and a super hero, certain sort of Robocop cyborg. Developed with NYC Copwatch, Argus uses surveillance as a public safety counter-offensive. It asks for accountability, it informs of the rights of individual within police jurisdiction and legitimaises the moral authority of the indivual citizen. It is a superhuman collecting human footage. Argus extends the discussion of how self recorded mobile footage in the US has been integral to legitimaing claims of police violence. The video component in the project used interviews with families of victims, antimation and footage from suit deployments.
I worked primary on fabrication and tech integration on the Argus project, with a collection of wildly talented people. I also provided general emergency solutions and and fixed things when they broke. I said no a surprising amount - it's always crazy times when I'm the voice of reason.