J. Nathan Matias writes in The Real Name Fallacy: „People often say that online behavior would improve if every comment system forced people to use their real names. It sounds like it should be true – surely nobody would say mean things if they faced consequences for their actions? Yet the balance of experimental evidence over the past […]
This panel at the EASA (European Association of Social Anthropologists) annual conference in July 2016 addressed the issue of missing persons and unidentified bodies in various empirical contexts. Claiming that death is rather a process than a moment, papers addressed the question how such confrontations with ‚unusual‘ deaths are symbolically, socially, and politically negotiated.
The way in which the contemporary art world deals with artists‘ names seems diametrically opposed to strategies of anonymity. The name of the artist operates as key marker for an identity, an oeuvre, a style, a product line, a brand. The Viennese gallery festival by_vienna (9 Sept – 15 Oct 2016 ), initiated and organized […]
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material collected in public places. Working with the traces strangers unwittingly leave behind, Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to the developing technology of forensic DNA phenotyping and the potential for a culture of biological surveillance. She will be in Berlin for an artist workshop on 18–19 August […]
In this olive field on the Greek island of Lesbos there are now almost 100 graves of refugees who drowned trying to reach Europe. Most of the graves are of unknown and unidentified bodies.
RCA-associate researcher Alexandra Waligorski has just published an article (in German) that reviews current artistic practices that reflect on masking and transparency: Alexandra Waligorski: „Datenmasken und Mugshots. Maskierung als künstlerische Praxis in einer transparenten Gesellschaft.“ in Kritische Berichte, Heft 1.2016, „Ästhetik(en) des Widerstands“, S. 8-19.
The anthropologist Gabriella Coleman has extensively studied the social and technical background of the Anonymous online protest group, incl. her 2013 report, „Anonymous in Context: The Politics and Power behind the Mask„.
The Anonymouth text anonymization tool for texts has recently been criticized by the US critic of digital culture, Ted Byfield, in a posting on the Nettime mailing list (25 May 2016). Byfield points out that Anonymouth is closely related to stylometric projects which try to do exactly the opposite, i.e. identify anonymous authors.
The public release of the „Panama Papers“ this week by Süddeutsche Zeitung and others uncovers many names of people who tried to stay anonymous by founding offshore companies to manage part of their incomes. Despite the apparent legality of most of the procedures, one may ask why these people put so much effort into a […]
One of the artists participating in the „Reconfiguring Anonymity“ project, Parastou Forouhar, recently spent two months in Iran where she grew up and where her parents, the oppositional politicians Daryoush Forouhar und Parvaneh Eskandari, were killed by secret police officers in 1998. In her report (in English, and here: in German/auf Deutsch), Parastou Forouhar describes her […]