B2. Thousand Little Brothers

Thousand Little Brothers – Hasan Elahi

Anyone (…) is seen, but does not see; object of an information, never subject of a communication”.

In these words is summarized the Panopticon idea, an ideal IIXth-century prison in which on only one only attendant is in charged of observing all the prisoners without making them conscious of the control action. Hasan Elahi seems to subvert this mechanism: in 2002, after having been unfairly connected to FBI in a terroristic survey lasted six months, the artist decided to autonomously monitor himself, photographing every single aspects of his daily life actions, submitting these images to the governative corporation.

From here the idea of giving life to a website, Tracking Transience, that allows to perpetually monitor Elahi position, realizing an installation Thousand Little Brothers, where the thousands collected images are shown. An open protest act, hidden in compliant that suggests to reflect on the controversial topic of privacy in an age of advanced surveillance and our fear-based culture after 9/11.


Bianca Cavuti

Cover image: Hasan Elahi, Thousand Little Brothers, 2014

© Hasan Elahi, courtesy Open Society Foundation