The Virtual Watchers

Joana Moll & Cédric Parizot, 2010

The Virtual Watchers is an on-going research project at the intersection of art, research and technology that questions the dynamics of crowdsourcing at contemporary State borders. It focuses on the exchanges that occurred within a Facebook group that gathered American volunteers ready to monitor US-Mexico border through an online platform that displayed live screenings of CCTV cameras. The declared aim of this operation was to bring American citizens to participate in reducing border crime and block the entrance of illegal immigration to the US by means of crowdsourcing. This initiative, a public-private partnership, was originally launched in 2008 and consisted of an online platform called RedServants [1] and a network of 200 cameras and sensors located in strategic areas along the US Mexico border. Some of these cameras were also installed in the private properties of volunteering citizens. The online platform gave free access to the camera broadcasts 24/7 and allowed users to report anonymously if they noticed any suspicious activity on the border. RedServants had 203.633 volunteer users since 2008, and resulted in 5331 interdictions, which overall represents almost 1 million hours of free labour for the authorities. The program stopped in 2012 due to lack of financial support, as announced in its official Facebook page in May 13th 2012.

This project offers an interactive window that allows the public to access some of the original video feeds recorded by the RedServant’s surveillance cameras, and dive into the conversations, jokes, and questionings of the Facebook group that gathered some of the volunteering citizens that actively used the platform [2]. By doing so, it highlights to what extent the emotional investment and exchanges of these people work as an essential mechanism in the construction and legitimization of a post-panoptic system.

1. The original name of the platform has been changed in order to protect the identity of its users.
2. All the profile pictures and real names of the Facebook group members have been faked in order to protect their identities.

Visit the project

Pierre Depaz – SimBorder

Pierre Depaz

SimBorder is an algorithmic exploration of the complex system surrounding the issues of immigration and refugees at an international level. The programme generates a group of neighbouring countries, each of them with its own panel of public policies directly connected to the entry of refugees. As a simulation, SimBorder is not objective; like any system, it expresses the will of its author.

Pierre Depaz is a french artist and programmer currently living in the United States. He graduated from the Institute of Political Studies of Lille, he is currently teaching at the University of New York.

Personnal Cinema – Banoptikon

Personnal Cinema
Video game, 2010 – 2013
Visit the project

We are facing the melting point between bodies in move on one hand and digital technologies of control on the other. A situation where the body becomes data, and thus becomes subject of control, but at the same time the data are materialised and become bodies.

The game simulates different urban or non-urban environments, such as the city center, the harbor, the detention camp or the border zone and presents their interconnection. The player is invited to experience this fluid yet intense reality while interacting within the game and viewing videos, sound recordings, web pages, images and texts that have been integrated in the environment.

The game is based on a (non linear) storyline, connecting various migrant movements. It demonstrates in a visual manner the experiences that migrants encounter as Europe’s non citizens, while also emphasizing how these movements may have a positive effect on European societies – transforming power hierarchies of gender, nation, race and class.
It also searches and examines different aspects of current migrational politics and the issues that are generated from the power relations between migrants, “locals” and authorities, which are weaving and constructing the European canvas of this new struggle field. The central axis of this struggle concerns the digitalisation process of migration flows and, consequently, the transformations that occur to the different actors and the urban territories.

A major issue of debate in the social/political struggle field is the digitalisation of the mechanisms of control and surveillance (Border Crossing, Social Movements, Intercultural Conflict and Dialogue). And though these mechanisms are based on machines and devices, they appear -mostly- “invisible” and “immaterial” to those they are applied on.
The videogame Banoptikon, aspires to render these mechanisms visible and to simulate social and political situations referring to migration flow, which take place inside cities, networks, rural areas and above all to human bodies.

Because bodies are the subjects on which old and new technologies are applied and therefore bodies remain the basic topos of the battlefield.

Personal Cinema is a network active in the field of media arts. It plans and organizes projects and activities that encourage the critical stance toward the new forms of production, presentation and distribution of audiovisual products; the forms that at the very end, define the kind of social, cultural and political conditions, which in their turn, connect the multitude to the power structures.

Personal Cinema anticipates cooperation with social and artistic networks, groups and individuals that take a similar stance and consider necessary the creation of a visible space of debate. The collective connects people who are engaged in constant inventions to render explicit and clear the ‘signal’ from ‘noise’, that is to say, the two unequal parts that compose the current pseudo-dialectic of information.

Mahaut Lavoine – 407 camps

Mahaut Lavoine
407 Camps
Installation, 2015

The 407 camps project is a photomontage that presents the data made available by the NGO Migreurop on the website Each photo documents the flows, routes, airports, ports and other infrastructures dedicated to communicating and exchanging with other countries. It hides what it is made of: the jailed population.

Mahaut Lavoine lives and works in Lille, she got her DNSEP at the School of Art and Design of Valenciennes in 2015.

Lawrence Bird – Parallel

Lawrence Bird

Parallel is a single-channel video composed of satellite images tracking the US-Canada border along the 49th parallel of latitude; that is, 2,000 km from the Strait of Georgia in the Pacific Ocean to Lake of the Woods, near the centre of North America. Pursuing a simple trajectory, the project traverses a complex geography of politics, technology and time. The project is thus about several parallels beyond simply latitude: parallel countries, parallel modes of imaging and imagining, parallels between political, technical, and visual territories. It documents two distinct political and optical regimes, articulated at their line of interface.

parallel is the first of a series of explorations I have undertaken using Google Earth and other aerial imaging tools; another of these was Transect, which follows the Prime Meridian and Antimeridian around the planet, and was projected at Greenwich, England in the summer of 2014. For me these explorations develop a deep interest in the relationship between space and its image. The anomalies exposed in both parallel and Transect speak about relationships between image, technology, and nature, and about the politics and economics of mapping the earth. They form an interpenetration of digital image and material landscape. The material/digital territories created by the interplay of earth and image bring to the forefront, and are charged by, the economic and political matrices in which we are all embedded: a global condition that binds us as it frees us.

I have trained in architecture, film, urban design, social sciences, and the history and theory of architecture. I practise in architecture and urban design, and in film and visual art, where my work focuses on installation and video projection. I find that concerns explored independently in each of these practices bleed into, develop and are played out in the others. My creative work has been projected or installed in Winnipeg, Halifax, Toronto, Montréal, and London, England. I have taught at McGill University, University of Manitoba, Kanazawa International Design Institute (Japan), and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. I also write and edit; I have written for Critical Planning, Mechademia, Chora, and Leonardo, among others. I also contribute interviews on media, art and politics to I am based in Winnipeg, Canada, and am fascinated by the knot of geography and social conditions, success and failure, which binds this city.

Antoine Kik – Immigration Game

Antoine Kik
Immigration Game
Interactive installation, 2016

Immigration Game is an interactive installation that materialises a fictitious border in space. The visitor passes through a gate and has to submit to electronic controls based on immigration forms and access control technology.

While crossing the border, which the gate symbolises, the visitor faces his future as a migrant on video. This installation questions the dream and the utopia that borders and the territories on the other side suggest.

Antoine Bonnet “Kik” is a digital artist, he builds audio and visual electronic interfaces. He is also interested in many other areas, with the altruistic and grotesque approach that characterizes him. He is an active member of the Graffiti Research Lab FRANCE, and president of the Brigade Neurale.

Giovanni Ambrosio – Please do not show my face

Giovanni Ambrosio
Please do not show my face

These photos were taken in Dunkirk and Calais. This is not a work about migrants but about the environment of migrants camps. How to archive a world that isn’t ours? Can we speak with any dignity on behalf of someone else? Is there anything other than obsession when confronted with someone else’s suffering?

Giovanni Ambrosio was born in Naples, in 1978 and is now based in Paris. He devoted himself entirely to photography and artistic research since 2010.

Postcommodity – Repellent Fence [EN]

Postcommodity (Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez & Kade L. Twis)
Repellent Fence
Visit the project

The Repellent Fence is a project by Postcommodity, an interdisciplinary arts collective. The initiative is a social collaborative project among individuals, communities, institutional organizations, publics, and sovereigns that culminate with the establishment of a large-scale temporary monument located near Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Sonora. This land-art work is comprised of 28 tethered balloons, that are each 10 feet in diameter, and float 50 feet above the desert landscape. The balloons that comprise Repellent Fence are enlarged replicas of an ineffective bird repellent product. Coincidently, these balloons use indigenous medicine colors and iconography — the same graphic used by indigenous peoples from South America to Canada for thousands of years. The purpose of this monument is to bi-directionally reach across the U.S./Mexico border as a suture that stitches the peoples of the Americas together—symbolically demonstrating the interconnectedness of the Western Hemisphere by recognizing the land, indigenous peoples, history, relationships, movement and communication.

Postcommodity is an interdisciplinary arts collective comprised of Raven Chacon, Cristóbal Martínez, and Kade L. Twist. Postcommodity’s art functions as a shared Indigenous lens and voice to engage the assaultive manifestations of the global market and its supporting institutions, public perceptions, beliefs, and individual actions that comprise the ever-expanding, multinational, multiracial and multiethnic colonizing force that is defining the 21st Century through ever increasing velocities and complex forms of violence. Postcommodity works to forge new metaphors capable of rationalizing our shared experiences within this increasingly challenging contemporary environment; promote a constructive discourse that challenges the social, political and economic processes that are destabilizing communities and geographies; and connect Indigenous narratives of cultural self-determination with the broader public sphere. Postcommodity are the recipients of grants from the Telluride Institute (2007), American Composers Forum (2008), Arizona Commission on the Arts (2009), Elly Kay Fund (2010), Joan Mitchell Foundation (2010), Creative Capital (2012), Art Matters (2013), and the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation (2014). In 2011 the collective’s work was featured in “Close Encounters,” an international Indigenous exhibition exhibited in multiple venues throughout the city of Winnipeg, CA; Contour the 5th Biennial of the Moving Image in Mechelen, Belgium; Nuit Blanche, Toronto, CA; “Half Life: Patterns of Change,” Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe, NM; “The Night is Filled With the Harmonics of Suburban Dreams,” Lawrence Art Center, Lawrence, KS; “Here,” Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum; 18th Biennale of Sydney in Sydney, Australia; Adelaide International in Adelaide, Australia; and Time Lapse, Site Santa Fe, in Santa Fe, NM. In 2013, Postcommodity will exhibit their work at the Headlands Center for the Arts, as well as open their art space, Spirit Abuse in Albuquerque, NM. Throughout 2015, Postcommodity will prepare to stage a site-specific 2 mile long land installation at the US./Mexican border near Douglas, AZ.

Postcommodity acknowledges the important contributions of its previous collaborators: Steven Yazzie (2007-2010), Nathan Young (2007-2015), Andrew McCord (If History Moves at the Speed of Its Weapons, Then the Shape of the Arrow is Changing, and Promoting a More Just, Verdant and Harmonious Resolution), Annabel Wong (Dead River) and Existence AD (Dead River).

Matteo Guidi & Giuliana Racco – The Artist and the Stone [EN]

Matteo Guidi & Giuliana Racco
The Artist and the Stone
Visit the project

The Artist and the Stone is a multilayered interdisciplinary project that literally negotiates the twofold movement of a subject (a performance artist) and an object (a 25-ton block of stone) from the same refugee camp in the south West Bank to Europe. The project is concerned with the ways people can bypass restrictions and limitations in their daily life, managing to move through systems imposed on them, creating their own paths, languages and forms of expression, driven by their desires.

The Artist and the Stone speaks of mobility, citizenship, desire and constraint, situating itself at a cross-section of considerations on the expanding role of (artistic) mobility, growing border restrictions, and the trade of goods across borders, while placing emphasis on how context dictates value.

Giuliana Racco (Toronto, Canada, 1976). Artist with a BFA (Honours) from Queen’s University and an MFA from the IUAV University of Venice (2006). She was awarded a research and production grant by the Canada Arts Council for the year 2015. Her practice concerns narration, language acquisition, desire and mobility (including that of workers, migrants and refugees).

Matteo Guidi (Cesena, Italy, 1978). Artist with a Diploma in Visual Communication and a Degree in Ethno-anthropology, University of Bologna. He is a member of AAVC (Associaciò Artistes Visuals de Catalunya) and a professor of Sociology of Communication at ISIA of Urbino. He was awarded the Arte para la mejora social 2014 prize by Obra Social La Caixa Foundation. His investigations look into highly imaginative practices in closed spaces of control (such as cooking and photography in prisons).

View the artists portfolio

Guidi and Racco’s practices converged within the context of factories (2008) and refugee camps in the West Bank (2012). From 2008, they have collaborated continuously and are now both based in Barcelona and  in long-term residency at Hangar (centre for artisticresearch and production).

Guidi and Racco operate at the intersection between art and anthropology, investigating complex contexts of more or less closed structures, i.e. high security prisons, factories, and, most recently, refugee camps. Their practices looks into the ways individuals or groups of  manage their own movement, on a daily basis, through strongly defined systems which tend to objectify them and even induce forms of self-restraint. Reflecting on unpredictable methods of daily resistance sparked by a combination of simplicity and ingenuity, they focus on contexts that are considered marginal or exceptional but, in reality, anticipate more common scenarios.

Together and independently they have participated in exhibitions and festivals and held talks in international contexts, such as the Goethe Institute of Barcelona (ES), GalleriaPiù, Bologna (IT), Department of Justice of Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona (ES), AB9 Murcia (ES), Faculty of Fine Arts of the city of Porto (PT), University of Barcelona (ES), Escola Massana Barcelona (E), Kunstuniversität Linz (AT), Il vivaio del malcantone, Firenze (IT), Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome (IT), Double Room, Trieste (IT), Galerija SIZ Rijeka, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Rijeka (HR), Akademie der Künste der Welt Cologne (DE), International Academy Of Art Palestine, Ramallah (PS), Artissima Lido, Turin Contemporary Art Fair (IT), Galleria Civica Mestre (IT), NotGallery, Naples (I), Fotomuseum Winterthur (CH), Festival Loop, Barcelona (ES), SESC de Artes – Mediterrane São Paulo (BR), Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg (FR), Bethnal Green Road, London (UK) and the Center For Design Resarch & Education of Hanyang University, Kyunggido (KR).

They have participated in international research and residency programmes in Portugal (Soft Control / The Technical Unconsciuos); West Bank (Campus in Camps / DAAR Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency Bethlehem); Croatia (Kamova Rijeka); Israel (JCVA Jerusalem Center for Visual Art); Italy (O’, Milan & Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice) and Luxemburg (Kulturfabrik, Esch-sur-Alzette). They have conducted workshops in a variety of environments, including universities, prisons and refugee camps.

Photograph from the set of the video ¿Qui assumirà el pes de 25 tones de pedra? (Who will take on the weight of 25 tonnes of stone?), M. Guidi, G. Racco, 2015 – Photograph by Alice Daneluzzo.

Julian Oliver – Border Bumping

Julian Oliver
Border Bumping
Visit the project

Border Bumping, by is a work of dislocative media that situates cellular telecommunications infrastructure as a disruptive force, challenging the integrity of national borders.

Running a freely available, custom-built smartphone application, Border Bumping agents collect cell tower and location data as they traverse national borders in trains, cars, buses, boats or on foot. Moments of discrepancy at the edges are logged and uploaded to the central Border Bumping server, at the point of crossing.

For instance: a user is in Germany but her device reports she is in France. The Border Bumping server will take this report literally and the French border is redrawn accordingly. The ongoing collection and rendering of these disparities results in an ever evolving record of infrastructurally antagonised territory, a tele-cartography.

Julian Oliver is a New Zealander, Critical Engineer and artist based in Berlin. His work and lectures have been presented at many museums, galleries, international electronic-art events and conferences, including the Tate Modern, Transmediale, the Chaos Computer Congress, Ars Electronica, FILE and the Japan Media Arts Festival. Julian has received several awards, most notably the distinguished Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica 2011 for the project Newstweek (with Daniil Vasiliev).

Julian has also given numerous workshops and master classes in software art, data forensics, creative hacking, computer networking, counter-surveillance, object-oriented programming for artists, augmented reality, virtual architecture, video-game development, information visualisation and UNIX/Linux worldwide. He is an advocate of Free and Open Source Software and is a supporter of, and contributor to, initiatives that promote and reinforce rights in the networked domain.

Articles about Julian’s work, or work he’s made with others, have appeared in many news channels. Among them are The BBC (UK), The Age (AU), Der Spiegel (DE), El Pais (ES), Liberation (FR), The New York Times (US), La Vanguardia (ES), The Guardian Online (UK), Cosmopolitan (US), Wired (US and UK), Slashdot (US), Boing Boing (US), Computer World (World) and several television stations worldwide.

Huub Dijstelbloem – Border surveillance and counter surveillance, Huub Dijstelbloem [EN]

Prof. Huub Dijstelbloem
Border surveillance and counter surveillance

The concept of surveillance is usually applied to state activities and technologies that aim to register and control certain populations. However, historically the concept of surveillance refers to the initiatives of citizens to control state power as well. This project will study the interaction between surveillance and counter surveillance in the context of border control and mobility management. One the one hand, it aims to investigate recent initiatives in Europe and the United States to digitalize border controls and to extend their operational range from a conceptual, normative and empirical point of view. On the other, it studies how ‘watch dogs’ such as NGOs and humanitarian organizations which support refugees and aim to protect privacy and human rights respond to the specific challenge of border surveillance. In addition, the project researches various initiatives by artist, activists and academics (often in combination) that aim to visualize issues relate to border control. As a result, the project aims to gain more insight in how debates in the public sphere take place in a visual and often technologically mediated way and how the digitalization of border controls affects the nature of surveillance and counter surveillance. As such, the study will offer a deeper understanding of the nature of checks and balances in contemporary highly technological democracies. In order to do so, the project will compare examples of surveillance and counter surveillance at the Southern borders of Europe and the US and identify initiatives of visualizing and counter-visualizing at the Greece-Turkey border and at the US-Mexican border.


History and philosophy of technology increasingly pay attention to the technological dimension of state formation and the technicalities of the state apparatus. In addition, studies at the intersection of philosophy of science, political philosophy and science and technology studies have emphasized that issues concerning technology and the state relate to questions of democracy as well as they affect the way citizens are included or excluded from state’s activities or the public sphere.

An area in which all these issues are present is the surveillance of borders. Technologies have highly influenced the functioning and meaning of borders and borders control. Three transformations are significant in this respect.

Firstly, border checks do not always take place at entry points such as physical frontiers, harbors and airports, but form part of a much wider area of monitoring, admission requirements and administrative processes; for example, the illegality checks done via personal data registration. Border are increasingly instruments of ‘remote control’. Arguably, the border is omnipresent, as well as portable (ID card) and virtual (databases). As a consequence, the border is not just a wall erected to protect ‘Fortress Europe’ from advancing migrants, but the EU’s new digital borders are connected through the screens of border officials, police, visa offices etc.

Secondly, border control is not only carried out by governments. There may be co-operation with, for example, medical professionals (for X-rays and DNA laboratories to determine family relations) and private business (such as the Schiphol Group, that collaborates in the program Privium on iris scans). Some policy developments in this area are also supported and driven by private industries. The ‘Homeland security market’ has grown considerably in more recent years. Border control is not only in public hands but also in professional and private hands.

Thirdly, border control increasingly targets the human body. The external characteristics of migrants are not only presented in terms of descriptions (height, eye color) in data files; actual imprints of the body such as fingerprints are increasingly finding their way into bureaucratic systems, making bodies ‘machine readable’. The body is interpreted and formatted as if it were an information storage device that simply needs to be scanned in order to be registered. The body becomes ‘the universal ID card of the future’ and indeed, the body functions more and more as a lie detector that can accuse and condemn people but also acquit them.

As a result, border control and mobility management have become part of a large scale surveillance regime. They include not only migrants of all sorts but citizens and so-called ‘trusted travellers’ as well. Policies aim to combine the free movement of people, goods, money and information with security measures to safeguard borders and prevent illegal activities. Attention gradually shifts from ‘representing’ to ‘intervening’ now that different sorts of technologies are concerned with profiling, risk analysis and pre-emptive strikes. A recent example is the ‘intelligence-driven’ approach Eurosur (European Border Surveillance System) which became operational December 2, 2013 and coordinates technologies varying from ships, helicopters and radar to biometrics and databases.

The interoperability of databases making use of biometrics combined with iris scans, GIS technology, radar images, infrared and satellite technology, and statistical risk calculation creates a surveillance network to store and exchange all kinds of data extracted from migrants and travellers. The more recent development of big data analysis is now also increasingly finding its way into public policy making. The state’s perception of reality thus becomes more technologically and statistically ‘datafied’.

This digitalization and datafication is not without consequences for the way watchdogs act. Counter surveillance can be distinguished in vigilance, denunciation and evaluation. It often takes place in decentralized and mediated ways such as by media coverage, internet forums, social media, and NGOs that act as an in between in the public sphere between states and citizens. As such, surveillance and counter surveillance do not consist of a centralized public confrontation between citizens and the state but of a distributed network of technological formats and dispersed places in which this relationship is re-enacted. This re-enactment results in a process of representing in trajectories that connect migrants, data, computers, fingerprints, bodies and civil servant. In those trajectories not only borders but also boundaries between different ‘worlds’ such as political, legal, economic, and moral regimes need to be crossed. As a result, when becoming a public affair the issue of ‘border surveillance’ is related not only to different practices and various forms of knowledge and information but also to different values and worldviews.

The increasing deployment of information technologies not only affects the nature of border controls but the checks and balances of democracies and the nature of the public sphere as well. Digitalized mobility management transforms the relationship between states and people and between policies, interventions and behavior. Technologies applied in border control and mobility management give rise to new questions since they affect migrants’ and travellers’ privacy, bodily integrity, mobility, quality of data, information storage and exchange, and opportunities for correction. In addition, a strengthening of border controls is likely to increase the risks migrants are willing to take to reach their destination.

Migration policy, border control and mobility management are fields in which a clash takes place between state surveillance and counter surveillance by NGOs and human rights organizations. As a consequence, organizations involved with the problems migrants meet in their attempts to cross borders illegally challenge governmental techniques by supplying information on the negative consequences of a restrictive and selective migration policy to media and the public at large. Examples are tactics such as mapping and counter mapping migration routes and refugee camps and the launch of interactive websites that invite the public to report casualties.

The project aims to arrive at a systematic inventory of different forms of counter surveillance and of the different ways watchdogs visualize issues related to border control and mobility management. In doing so, it will study how watchdogs are not only concerned with the representation of specific affairs and the mobilization of public attention, but are also involved with ‘issue formation’ and the shaping of ‘publics’.

Huub Dijstelbloem ( is Professor in Philosophy of Science and Politics at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and Senior Researcher and Project Leader at the Scientific Council for Government Policy in The Hague (WRR). He studied Philosophy (MA) and Science Dynamics (MSc) in Amsterdam and in Paris at the Centre de Sociologie de l’Innovation (CSI, supervision: Prof Bruno Latour) of the Ecole des Mines. He completed his PhD at the UvA at the Department of Philosophy.

Huub is board member of the Netherlands Graduate Research School of Science, Technology and Modern Culture (WTMC) and of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) of the UvA. Earlier, he was Program Coordinator Technology Assessment at the Rathenau Institute and researcher at Sci-Quest and editor of the open access journal for contemporary philosophy Krisis. He is involved in public debates about science, technology and democracy and is one of the initiators of the movement Science in Transition.

His recent books and co-edited volumes include Bestemming gewijzigd. Moderniteit en stedelijke transformaties (2013), Migration and the New Technological Borders of Europe (Palgrave, 2011), Onzekerheid troef. Het betwiste gezag van de wetenschap (Van Gennep, 2011), Het gezicht van de publieke zaak. Openbaar bestuur onder ogen (Amsterdam University Press, 2010), De Migratiemachine (Van Gennep, 2009) Rethinking the Human Condition. Exploring Human Enhancement (Rathenau, 2008) and Politiek vernieuwen. Op zoek naar publiek in de technologische samenleving (Van Gennep, 2008).

Relevant key publications of principal investigator

Dijstelbloem, H.O. (in press, 2015). ‘Mediating the Med. Surveillance and Counter-Surveillance at the Southern Borders of Europe’, in: J de Bloois, R Celikates & Y Jansen (Eds.), Critical Perspectives on the Irregularisation of Migration in Europe; Detention, Deportation, Death. Rowman and Littlefield.
Broeders, D.W.J. & Dijstelbloem, H.O. (in press, 2015). ‘The datafication of mobility and migration management: the mediating state and its consequences’. In I Van der Ploeg & J Pridmore (Eds.), Digital Identities. Routledge.
Dijstelbloem, H. & Broeders, D. (2014). ‘Border surveillance, mobility management and the shaping of non-publics in Europe’. European Journal of Social Theory. ONLINE FIRST JUNE 2014
Dijstelbloem, H. and A. Meijer (eds.) (2011) Migration and the New Technological Borders of Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Dijstelbloem, H., A. Meijer and M. Besters (2011) ‘The Migration Machine’, in: Dijstelbloem, H. and A. Meijer (eds.) (2011) Migration and the New Technological Borders of Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Dijstelbloem, H. A. Meijer and F. Brom (2011) ‘Reclaiming Control over Europe’s Technological Borders’, in: Dijstelbloem, H. and A. Meijer (eds.) (2011) Migration and the New Technological Borders of Europe, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Dijstelbloem, H. (2009) ‘Europe’s new technological gatekeepers. Debating the deployment of technology in migration policy’ (2009), in: Amsterdam Law Forum, special issue on Privacy and Technological Development, August 2009
Dijstelbloem, H. en A. Meijer (red.) (2009) De migratiemachine. Over de rol van technologie in het migratiebeleid, Amsterdam: Van Gennep.
Dijstelbloem, H. en A. Meijer (2009) ‘Publieke aandacht voor een ongekende machine’, in: Dijstelbloem, H. en A. Meijer (red.) (2009).
Dijstelbloem, H. (2009) ‘De raderen van de migratiemachine’, in: Dijstelbloem, H. en A. Meijer (red.) (2009).

Heidrun Friese – Partire [EN]

Heidrun Friese

Since the late 1990s, Lampedusa has evolved into a European borderland and a key layover for undocumented people. The tiny Italian island close to the Tunisian mainland has become – along with the Spanish enclaves Ceuta and Melilla – a prominent symbol of European migration policies, of technocratic utopias of controlling mobility, of border management and of the limits of European hospitality.

Invisible borders: the Trans-African Project [EN]

Invisible border: the Trans-African Project Organisation
Since 2009
Visit the project

Since 2009, Invisible Borders has travelled by road across African countries and their borders. Beginning with a trip from Lagos to Bamako, the Organization has travelled further to Addis Ababa, Libreville and Dakar. In 2014, up to 9 artists would travel for at least 150 days from Lagos to Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Project awarded by Prince Claus price.

Charles Heller et Lorenzo Pezzani – Liquid Traces – The Left-to-Die Boat Case

Charles Heller et Lorenzo Pezzani
Liquid Traces – The Left-to-Die Boat Case
Video, 2014
Visit the project

Liquide Traces offers a synthetic reconstruction of the events concerning what is known as the “left-to-die boat” case, in which 72 passengers who left the Libyan coast heading in the direction of the island of Lampedusa on board a small rubber boat were left to drift for 14 days in NATO’s maritime surveillance area, despite several distress signals relaying their location, as well as repeated interactions, including at least one military helicopter visit and an encounter with a military ship. As a result, only 9 people survived.

See also Charles Heller’s presentation at the antiAtlas international conference, October 2013

Marcos Ramirez Erre & David Taylor – Delimitations, a survey of the 1821 border between Mexico and the United States

Marcos Ramirez Erre & David Taylor
Visit the project

Delimitations is a collaborative project by Marcos Ramírez ERRE and David Taylor. During the month of July we will travel from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico and mark the 1821 border between Mexico and the United States.

That boundary was never surveyed and its brief, 27 year history exists mainly in the form of treaty documents and antique maps. We intend to make it visible for the first time…

Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande, Khaled Soliman, Al Nassir – On the bride’s side

Antonio Augugliaro, Gabriele Del Grande, Khaled Soliman Al Nassiry
On the bride’s side
Visit the project

A Palestinian poet and an Italian journalist meet five Palestinians and Syrians in Milan who entered Europe via the Italian island of Lampedusa after fleeing the war in Syria.

They decide to help them complete their journey to Sweden – and hopefully avoid getting themselves arrested as traffickers – by faking a wedding. With a Palestinian friend dressed up as the bride and a dozen or so Italian and Syrian friends as wedding guests, they cross halfway over Europe on a four-day journey of three thousand kilometres.

This emotionally charged journey not only brings out the stories and hopes and dreams of the five Palestinians and Syrians and their rather special traffickers, but also reveals an unknown side of Europe – a transnational, supportive and irreverent Europe that ridicules the laws and restrictions of the Fortress in a kind of masquerade which is no other than the direct filming of something that really took place on the road from Milan to Stockholm from the 14th to the 18th of November 2013.

Visit the project on Indiegogo

Read the article and interview of the authors by Marco Mancuso on Digicult

Guardian – The refugee challenge: can you break into Fortress Europe?

Le Guardian
The refugee challenge: can you break into Fortress Europe?
Serious game

As EU governments have made it harder to seek refuge in Europe, the flow of refugees fleeing the world’s most desperate conflicts is increasing. We invite you to make the choices real refugees have to make and find out what it’s really like to look for safety in Fortress Europe.

Your name is Karima. You are a 28-year-old Sunni woman from Aleppo, and you have two children, a girl aged eight, and a 10-year-old boy. Your husband was killed in a mortar attack three months ago. The air strikes have continued – a recent bomb, you hear, killed 87 children – and you now feel you must try to leave Syria.

Many of your friends and family have already fled, most to neighbouring countries where they are in refugee camps; few have travelled into Europe. Only 55,000 Syrian refugees – 2.4 per cent of the total number of people who have fled Syria – have claimed asylum in the EU.

You have some money you could use for your journey – you consider your options.

Play the game

Geography of Hate: Geotagged Hateful Tweets in the United States

Dr. Monica Stephens
The Geography of Hate
Visit the project

The Geography of Hate is part of a larger project by Dr. Monica Stephens of Humboldt State University (HSU) identifying the geographic origins of online hate speech.

The data behind this map is based on every geocoded tweet in the United States from June 2012 – April 2013 containing one of the ‘hate words’.