Images 003


Paris Photo, Grand Palais, November 2017.

Gare du Nord, Paris, November. 2017

Felix Nussbaum Museum of Cultural History, Germany, October. 2017.

Odesa Photo Days Festival, Odesa, Ukraine, April, 2017

Ostrołęka Festival of Photography, Poland, October 2017

Huck, November, 2017.
Dazed, November, 2017.
Artlyst, November, 2017.
Art Press November. 2017.
Wallpaper*, November, 2017.
Fotoroom, October. 2017.
British Journal of Photography, 2017.

Vault 7

On Tuesday the 7th of March 2017, wikileaks released “Vault 7” - the largest ever publication of confidential documents on the CIA.
The leak comprised of 8,761 documents and files from an isolated, high-security network situated inside the CIA’s Centre for Cyber Intelligence. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The documents reveal how the CIA has gained political and budgetary pre-eminence over the US National Security Agency (NSA), and found itself building not just its now infamous drone fleet, but a very different type of covert, globe-spanning force – its own substantial fleet of hackers. By the end of 2016, the Centre of Cyber Intelligence had over 5000 registered users and had produced more than a thousand hacking systems, “trojans”, viruses, and other “weaponized” malware. Such is the scale of the CIA’s undertaking that by the same year, its hackers had utilized more code than that used to run Facebook. The CIA had created, in effect, its “own NSA” with even less accountability and without publicly answering the question as to whether such a massive budgetary spend on duplicating the capacities of a rival agency could be justified. Wikileaks claim that the source of the leaks provided an accompanying statement with questions that they say urgently need to be debated publicly, including whether the CIA’s hacking capabilities exceed its mandated powers and the problem of public oversight of the agency. But these documents also reveal something else, something perhaps even more interesting than the cyber capabilities of the CIA – they provide a telling insight into the culture among the agency, of the normality and ordinariness of the people that work and operate there. They reveal an almost absurd level of banality, a culture so far flung from our Hollywood influenced; idealised perceptions of what it is to be a “spy”. So much is the case, that at points, in reading through the documents I even began to question their authenticity. On the first page we are presented with a picture of Will Ferrell’s comedian character from a popular Hollywood movie – a movie from which, in fact, this particular weaponized malware, is named after. Through this project, I aim not only to present and play on this banal absurdity, but also to challenge our conceptions of how such an organisation is run, and to question it’s integrity. I wonder if a culture has been created at the cyber division in which employees are so far removed from the consequence of their work, that it somehow doesn’t seem real, like some kind of game, where weaponized malwares are named after popular sci-fi characters. I wonder, has Hollywood influenced reality, or has reality influenced Hollywood?