Tue 20 Mar 2018

Defrag: Encryption

Tue 20 Mar 2018
18.45 - 20.30
Pay What You Can

The work of our artists is valuable and our events cost money to produce, but we also want them to be as accessible as possible. Therefore, we offer you the opportunity to pay what you can for this event.

River Rooms
New Wing

A new event series exploring the role technology plays in the development, production and consumption of art and culture.

What’s your PGP key?

From cryptocurrencies to cypherpolitics, encryption protocols are increasingly prevalent throughout politics, commerce, and day to day interaction. The demands of the war on terror have resulted in invasive surveillance, which has translated into a war on individual privacy, and in turn the tools necessary to ensure it in a data-driven society. Different perspectives have emerged in light of these conditions. Proponents of cryptopolitics assert that the only effective strategy for safeguarding individual freedom is encryption: if they can’t see it, they can’t use it against you. On the other hand advocates of radical transparency argue that if you haven't done anything wrong, then you have nothing to hide.

Amber Rudd and the Home Office have called for a total ban on encryption technologies, from WhatsApp to Signal. They demand total transparency in return for the promise of safety against terrorists, organised criminals, and hackers. But what is the price of security? 

Increasingly the ubiquity of encryption has filtered into the cultural sphere, with artists, technologists and cultural producers interrogating its uses and abuses. These technologies are esoteric, technical and inaccessible for all but the most savvy and motivated individuals. As encryption becomes ingrained in our daily lives, it is vital that these issues are explored and presented to the public for our further consideration.

DEFRAG: Encryption will invite artists and privacy activists to discuss the social and political issues surrounding privacy in a networked society. 


Anne Duffau 
Anne is the founder and producer of the experimental curatorial platform A---Z. As a Freelance curator, Anne has collaborated in various projects with ArtLicks, CGP Gallery, the Institute for Mathematical Sciences Project, V22, Danielle Arnaud, Please Stand By, She is currently working at the Royal College of Art as the Curriculum and Special Projects Coordinator for the School of Fine Art and runs the StudioRCA Riverlight in Nine Elms. She is a Board Member at Matt’s Gallery.

Taking the formula of the alphabet, A---Z uses words related to the idea of Entropy as a starting point to map out and test various unstable potentials. one Letter, one experiment, twenty-six times. Currently developing newly commissioned installations around the idea of displacement and otherness at the StudioRCA, a space situated at the bottom of an apartment tower in Nine Elms. The series presents studies of deconstruction of pre-conceived/imperialist knowledge, often through the scope of science fiction, with a selection of solo exhibitions. A---Z has presented series of screenings, performances as well as exhibitions around themes such as transgender, post-human and morphing bodies. 

Silkie Carlo
Silkie is the Director of Big Brother Watch, who campaign on behalf of the individual to ensure your privacy and civil liberties are maintained in the digital age by government, public authorities and businesses. Before joining Big Brother Watch, she was the Senior Advocacy Officer at Liberty where she led a programme on Technology and Human Rights and launched a legal challenge to the Investigatory Powers Act. She previously worked for Edward Snowden’s official defence fund and whistleblowers at risk. She is a passionate campaigner for the protection of liberties, particularly in the context of new and emerging technologies. She has worked to uphold rights in the fields of state surveillance, policing technologies, big data, artificial intelligence and free expression online. Silkie is also an information security trainer and organises Cryptoparty London. She is the co-author of Information Security for Journalists.

Curated by Jake Charles Rees in association with Somerset House Studios.