Hasan Elahi’s work questions issues of privacy, information, and its distribution while attempting to blur the distinctions between society and technology. This conjunction of physical and virtual, parallels the artist’s interest in the intersection of geopolitical conditions and individual circumstances resulting in translations and mistranslations between voyeurism & exhibitionism, spectator & target, surveillance & protection, and ultimately, the nation & the individual. His work, Tracking Transience, was constructed after an erroneous tip called into law enforcement authorities in 2002 subjected him to an intensive investigation by the FBI and undergo months of interrogations only to be cleared of all suspicions. The project questions the consequences of living under constant surveillance and continuously generates databases of imagery that tracks the artist and his points of transit in real-time.
Hasan Elahi’s work has been exhibited at SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sundance Film Festival, and at the Venice Biennale. Elahi has spoken to audiences at the Tate Modern, American Association of Artificial Intelligence, TED Global, and the World Economic Forum. His work has appeared on Al Jazeera, Fox News, and on The Colbert Report. Elahi received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2016, Creative Capital Foundation grant in 2006 and Art Matters Foundation in 2011. He was a 2014 Artist-in-Residence at Shangri-La/Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and in 2009, Resident Faculty at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Currently, Elahi is Associate Professor of Art at University of Maryland, roughly equidistant from the CIA, FBI, and NSA headquarters.