For two weeks leading up to Miami Art Basel, digitaltrailspace.com ( an interactive 3D voxel-graffiti drawing tool ) collected “anonymous” submissions from participants around the world, with the prompt:
Be part of a digital street art show during Art Basel Miami Beach. say/draw whatever you want! your piece will be automatically added to the collection and projected all over the streets of Miami, culminating on the facade of Aqua Art Miami on Saturday Dec 7th"
pieces were collected && projected, anonymity was implied, but never promised. after submitting a piece it would be credited to the participants IP Address ( their “digital handle” ), and s/he would be followed across the web through targeted ads which read:
hope you don’t mind we followed you here, your digital handle leaves a trail… thnx for your contribution.”
Despite what we might think when we surf the web, we are never truly anonymous online. Even when we’re logged out of social media and email, all our activities are being tracked and associations are being made between them by parties we are completely unaware of. For street artists, it’s often important to hide one’s identity behind handles in order to share activist or counter-cultural messages without fear of repercussion. The Internet has evolved from being simply a tool we use to an environment we live in—where we talk with friends, where we get our news, where we shop, where we work, where we have sex, where we handle our finances, where we keep our medical records, where we watch movies and listen to music.
As street artists and activists migrate their activities into the cloud, the protection granted by anonymity is compromised, as is everyone’s privacy online… whether we realize it or not.
This piece hopes to make sure we do realize it.