Art Fag City announces the launch of a new initiative today; tracking artists who appear on the Colbert Report. The second artist investigating the mechanisms of government agencies to appear on the show within the space of a month, Hasan Elahi spoke with Steven Colbert about his website Tracking Transience. The site (or Elahi – we’re not sure which) sends the government daily pictures of his whereabouts, what he’s eating, and even how he’s spending his money to ensure that officials don’t mistake him as a terrorist. A response to being detained by the FBI for suspicion of hoarding explosives in 2002, Elahi explains, “Intelligent forces no matter where they are all operate in a community where their commodity is information, and the reason that information has value is because no one else has access to that information…so the secrecy of that information is what makes it valuable…so by me disclosing all this information [it becomes worthless]”
Of course, the other reason the information he provides has so little meaning is that the site is full of pop up windows and scrolling images making it impossible to navigate. But whatever. Elahi tells Steven Colbert he’s seen a EOP.gov address in his sitemeter, which means he’s had the eyes of the President on his site. “You’ve got a fan!” replies Colbert, which immediately prompted the web professional in me to wonder about the duration of his visit.
Hasan Elahi’s work is currently on view at Artist’s Space in the exhibition The New Normal.