Security Update: grey definitions of security with Zeesy Powers (online program)

Security Update: grey definitions of security
Artist talk with Zeesy Powers
June 23, 7PM
via Zoom


Security updates close loopholes that make our personal devices vulnerable to exploitation by bad actors. Yet these updates may also enhance corporate ability to surveil our activity and guide us as consumers to desired platforms. This talk looks at examples of “insecure security” to demonstrate how monopolistic practices co-opt necessary consumer protections. It focuses on how an important recent update to the Android OS – blocking third-party developers from running the mic while the screen is locked – also happened to kill my art project while giving Google the sole rights to determine who can listen in on your life and how. Other examples from the Apple ecosystem and open source culture will be presented to demonstrate how necessary security protections can be and are used to control and direct our interactions with digital ecosystems.


Zeesy Powers explores how the unstated rules of society shape our experience. Working across a diverse range of media, her performances, videos and installations have been exhibited internationally for over a decade. Powers has been artist-in-residence at CCA Kitakyushu (Japan), Palomar5 (Berlin), the Banff New Media Institute, Studio XX (Montreal) and the Toronto Animated Image Society. She has led several collaborative community-based projects with children and youth, and facilitates Wikipedia workshops to expand the public knowledge base of underrepresented communities. She has been an invited observer and participant in international telecommunications and cybersecurity conferences for military-industrial, corporate and activist realms. Powers is a recipient of numerous grants for her artistic works. A 2018 Chalmers Fellow, she continued her research into how digital tools shape the ways we relate to ourselves and others. She is currently developing two AR filters for Instagram, and completing a documentary on climate change and the end of love.