"Cached Landscapes" is an experimental photographic project, analyzing temporarily cached image data that has been stored on my device while using google maps to virtually visit surveillance related signals-intelligence locations (SIGINT) researched and published by Trevor Paglen in mid 2015.
Unless manually picked out of the hidden system folders of our devices, by default a huge amount of fragmented and decontextualized image files is silently archived and stored in our computer's browser cache everytime we visit a website or a map on the internet.
While the automatically collected images of the browser cache are clearly documenting every step we are doing on the internet, for the human eye the algorithmically cropped and poorly sorted files transform into an abstract grid without any further information.
„Cached Landscapes“ can be translated both, as "hidden" landscapes showing Paglen's places of surveillance, as well as our invisibly tracked and "stored" data that is constantly accumulated and processed on connected servers and our personal computers.
Cached Landscapes / Objects of Surveillance #5 - Niederhausen (2015)
Animated GIF: writing cached browser data into the hidden system folders while virtually visiting identified signals-inteligence locations in google maps.
"Freier's images of secret data collection centers have a lot in common with the data that the NSA collects: They appear nonsensical at first, but they actually contain some meaningful information about the appearance of these sites." (via FastCompany)
"The series offers a meta-commentary on the automated tracking of individuals’ download histories and browser caches, revealing the online implications of Paglen’s appeal for surveillance transparency." (via VICE creatorsproject) "The irony is Freier didn’t take the photos, or even the screenshots featured in his elaborate composite images. All of them were pulled from a subfolder holding a thumbnail cache of every web page he visits."
"This provides an insight into how our data is handled by companies like Google. Visits are documented and saved in the browser cache, but then the information is broken up and stored in a nonsensical and abstract grid."
(via WIRED UK)
Geo locations of SIGNT stations, researched and published by Trevor Paglen in Germany in 2015