Astro Noise (Paperback)

A Survival Guide for Living Under Total Surveillance

By Laura Poitras (Editor), Jay Sanders (Introduction by), Lakhdar Boumediene (Contributions by), Kate Crawford (Contributions by), Cory Doctorow (Contributions by), Dave Eggers (Contributions by), Jill Magid (Contributions by), Trevor Paglen (Contributions by), Edward Snowden (Contributions by), Hito Steyerl (Contributions by), Ai Weiwei (Contributions by), Alex Danchev (Contributions by), Jacob Appelbaum (Contributions by)

Whitney Museum of American Art, 9780300217650, 256pp.

Publication Date: February 23, 2016

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A multifaceted response to issues concerning personal privacy and government power by writers, artists, and others

The filmmaker, artist, and journalist Laura Poitras has explored the themes of mass surveillance, “war on terror,” drone program, Guantánamo, and torture in her work for more than ten years. In 2013, Poitras was contacted by Edward Snowden, a former National Security Agency subcontractor who leaked classified information about government-sponsored surveillance. Her resulting documentary, Citizenfour, which won an Academy Award for best documentary feature in 2015, is the third film in her post-9/11 film trilogy.

For this volume, Poitras has invited authors ranging from artists and novelists to technologists and academics to respond to the modern-day state of mass surveillance. Among them are the acclaimed author Dave Eggers, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, the former Guantanamo Bay detainee Lakhdar Boumediene, the writer and researcher Kate Crawford, and Edward Snowden, to name but a few. Some contributors worked directly with Poitras and the archive of documents leaked by Snowden; others contributed fictional reinterpretations of spycraft. The result is a “how-to” guide for living in a society that collects extraordinary amounts of information on individuals. Questioning the role of surveillance and advocating for collective privacy are central tennets for Poitras, who has long engaged with and supported free-software technologists.

About the Author

Laura Poitras is a filmmaker, artist, and journalist. Jay Sanders is curator and curator of performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art.