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<nettime> NSA-spying-on-Europe
Neal - Office of Experiments on Wed, 3 Jul 2013 11:12:35 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> NSA-spying-on-Europe


Hi,

I am a long time lurker, but not of the NSA variety! I just engage
in the thinking and trying to put it into action, as a practitioner
researcher.

With a couple of colleagues and some well informed academics, Office
of Experiments have been working in the UK starting to develop a
tactical counter mapping of the larger scale infrastructures of
intelligence, research and experimentation, not normally accessible
to the public (since 2007-8). We have been mainly utilising some
of the sources you mention and from this and other analysis of
deflective strategies used in the physical and information landscape,
been documenting sites and organising bus tours to visit such sites,
including tactical sites of resistance - recently Greenham and
Nukewatch UK at Aldemaston. We have found that in allowing people
to see and bear witness to this invisible architecture, as well as
successful longitudinal occupy movements (Grenham Common Peace Camps)
we can discuss with others in public what is hidden in plain sight, in
the UK at least. We can link what is illegible or non parsible with
that which is phenomenological.

The method is always counter, as it is 'overt', approaching in plain
sight with high vis jackets, ID cards and legal information concerning
rights to document. We have also been using social participation and
experimental fieldwork. The project, the Overt Research Project led to
an exhibition Dark Places in 2009-10, that featured an installation
on Echelon by Steve Rowell. The Dark Places database has currently a
small edition focussed on the south online.

However as part of the research, we worked with Mike Kenner, an
activist based in Weymouth UK who has been in this area for some
15-25 years. We digitised and catalogued his personal archive
of declassiified documents surrounding the Biochemical warfare
experiments at Porton Down, which he had obtained through FOI
requests. We have made this sensitive archive available in physical
form in a number of venues, shown films never released and created
a searchable catalogue. He has since been used by the authorities
at Porton Down as an official source, co-opting his work - a deeply
cynical move.

We remain vigilant to such methods, but remain overt, as we are trying
to add a spatial dimension to the work of our colleagues here in
nettime, to utilise tactical strategies towards a cultural expectation
of openness. It requires funding and is a struggle to pull together,
but worthwhile. As Brian puts it, onwards.

Neal White

Office of Experiments


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