On Friday 18th January 2019, I’ve received a rather distressing email untitled “Hi perv. I recorded you masturbating! ”
Blackmailing me for 2,000. USD, the hacker threatened to release the supposed video of me in the midst of masturbation to my personal and professional contacts.
Technology advances rapidly, as does cyber warfare. Our devices, apps and social media are compromised. Nothing is private. Our confidentiality and personal information are victimized. Every intimate aspect and detail of our lives are exposed. This volatility leaves us uncertain as to where lies our intimacy.
I decided to publish the email and a poll on my Instagram and ask if people could help me through a crowdfunding campaign to protect my privacy.
Only 8% of the answers were in favor and 92% of respondents wanted to see the video.
As a visual artist I always try to explore my life experiences, through my exhibitions.
This project released printed images of my intimacy, including snapshots, print screens, secrets, nudes, conversations, letters, etc., recreating an authentic and material link with my audience, while using tools of the virtual media world, despite its volatilities.
It was also a way for me to denounce a paradoxical concomitance in digital media. We live in a world where ultra-violent content is not violent enough to be censored. Yet, extreme censorship permeates most societies.
This exhibition was the result of my interactions on social networks, including Instagram, my exchanges with the cybercriminal, and crowdfunding with different levels that allowed my audience to acquire individual pieces of my renewed privacy.
I started this project by answering the email:
“Hello, Anonymous Hacker,
I tried my best to raise money to pay you, but it appears nearly everyone on my social media wants to see this cyber-hacked video.
Being broke, I quite simply can’t afford my privacy.
Perhaps you could send me an extract and I’ll show a little teaser before your big release? It could help us raise money, and give me a chance to see if I look my best. I would not like people to be disappointed, as I am trying really hard to assemble a nicer version of myself on social media.
I’m about to create crowdfunding. I’ll send you the link as soon as it is ready. Are you interested in seeing more of my intimacy? I am not always in front of my computer. I’m afraid, my best work is probably achieved offline. I promise to share your e-mail on my social media so that everyone can marvel at my cyber-hacked masturbation video. It would be a shame if you forgot someone on your list. My list? A hard launch is so much better than a soft launch, don’t you think? Let’s work together and make this the best cyber-hack video release EVER!
Thank you? Please reply soon. I will absolutely explode with elation.
Honestly, everyone I know is excited!