In 2002, American artist Hasan Elahi’s name was added (by mistake) to the US government’s watch list.

Why you should listen

That led to an intensive investigation by the FBI. After months of interrogations, Elahi was finally cleared of suspicions but advised to keep the FBI informed of his whereabouts. Which he did -- fully, by opening up just about every aspect of his life to the public. What started with a practicality grew into an open-ended art project, with Elahi posting photos of his minute-by-minute life online (hotel rooms, airports, meals, receipts, bathrooms), tracking himself on Google Maps, releasing communication records, banking transactions and transportation logs, and more. The project questions the consequences of living under constant surveillance, and it has been presented at Centre Pompidou in Paris and at the Venice Biennale, among others. He is an associate professor of Art at University of Maryland, roughly equidistant from the CIA, FBI and NSA headquarters.

What others say

“He figures the day is coming when so many people shove so much personal data online that it will put Big Brother out of business.” — Wired

Hasan Elahi’s TED talk

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Arts + Design

I share everything. Or do I?

July 1, 2014

After a misleading tip linked Hasan Elahi to terrorist activities -- and an FBI investigation -- the artist created a project that lets anyone monitor him. But how much is he really revealing?

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