Commission as part of All of This Belongs to You
‘Intelligence is the business of paranoia. It focuses on unlikely and unusual relationships, the stories it reveals are often sensitive and controversial ones. Data incriminates by association.’ – James Bridle
Five Eyes is the name given to the alliance between intelligence agencies in the English-speaking nations Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.
For this commission, artist, writer and technologist James Bridle has passed the V&A’s 1.4 million digital object records through an intelligence analysis system. This system tags names, things and places, and creates searchable connections between seemingly disparate objects. The process is similar to methods used by the Five Eyes to analyse large volumes of intercepted data, including email correspondence and phone records.
The objects were selected because they are linked to each other, according to the tagged data. Each display cabinet features: a network of objects which together reveal a story. The connections between objects are at first difficult to grasp, but this is in part the point. Often inscrutable to the human eye, these connections reflect the inhuman, mechanical calculus that was used to generate them.
Explore the Five Eyes commission further and create your own set of interconnected
objects at vam.ac.uk/hyper-stacks