Several months before I was employed by the Walker, I was one of the “resident artists” that participated in the OPEN-ENDED exhibition. The project that my collaborators, The Revolutionary Party, and I came up with was called Nothing (Nowhere) to Hide. We were asked by the Minnesota History Center to bring the project out of the archives for the opening of The Enemy Within: Terror in America – 1776 to Today. The opening reception will be Tuesday January 29, from 7-9pm.
The project is an examination of the aspects of secrecy in the government, and how much the government wants to know about the goings-on of citizens. The idea for the project was largely inspired by the warrantless wiretapping scandal, broken in the New York Times. We wanted to show how government secrecy is, for the time being, still a two way street, at least in a token manner, but highlight the disparities in the flow of information.
The project consists of four parts. One is documentation of de-classified, re-classified documents from the National Archives, a separate, but perhaps more mind-boggling example of government secrecy. The second is documentation of the FOIA request letters and responses to our request for our own FBI files (we requested them). The third part of the project is a computer and printer kiosk where users can fill out an on-screen form with their information to generate FOIA and Privacy Act letters to request their FBI file. The final aspect of the project is a video we created explaining how to request an FBI file. We shot this video with local actor Jim Bovino. Here’s the video, it’s kind of fun:
Sadly, our FBI file request generator does not work online, as it was designed for a specific browser and printer settings, but the site Get My FBI File seems to do the same thing (maybe even better).