CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters is a mock product launch addressing the current reality that surveillance is everywhere. Vaughan observes that in nearly every urban centre there are video and still cameras monitoring the public hundreds of times per day. As violence escalates around the world, an increasing number of governments are passing anti-terror legislation that implicitly and systematically remove individual freedoms and privacy. Meanwhile, the popularity and ease of social media coaxes users to willingly part with their private data in the name of sharing and connectivity. As a result, a new industry has emerged where businesses specialize in surveillance items and services.
CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters aims to highlight these concerns in an engaging and humourous way. Vaughan’s installation, which imitates that of a commercial product display, consists of a luxurious version of a child’s tin can telephone made of porcelain and gold and an accompanying infomercial and neon sign singing the slogan, Privacy Matters!
Vanessa Vaughan is a multi-disciplinary artist who utilizes sculpture, performance and video/animation through large-scale installations and public interventions. Her artwork examines personal and collective mythologies, transformation and the absurd nature of reality.
CanTel’s Speak Easy: How Privacy Matters is a part of Third Space Gallery’s current project series, Cold Calling. Third Space Gallery would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts.