curious, not creepy.


project three – remove before washing.
June 6, 2009, 6:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

for the last year, a good friend of mine has been doing research on radio frequency identification chips [rfid] for a body of work he is working on. when either one of us learns something new, we discuss it a lot and pretty throughly. so, i’ve learned quite a bit about these chips through him. 

rfid chips act as transmitters to radio signals sent by transceivers and as a tracking device. several corporations use this technology in their products to assist them with marketing, however they legally have no obligation to tell their consumers that they are doing this. this is one of the things i have a hard time with regarding the rfid chips. i can see how they could be used for positive things, but i really don’t like the idea of something that i buy is being tracked while i’m in the store and could possibly be after i leave. there are no laws regulating how these things are used, and they don’t have to notify you of the chips presence.

so, for this project i went to two stores that prominently use the rfid chips in their goods and left notes in the clothing. i would either fold up a note and put it in the pocket, or i’d safety pin a note to the actual rfid chip which can be found really easily in most jeans. anytime you’ve ever had a tag that said remove before washing or wearing, you’ve purchased a product with an rfid chip. most people are completely unaware of this, i know i sure was up to a year ago. i think that it’s only fair that people are aware of these chips being in products they buy, and there needs to be regulation protecting our privacy. there are also many other uses that rfid chips are being implemented for that need to be raised for discussion, like putting them in passports and birth certificates, and are being looked over. my hope is that the people who find these will want to learn more and look at the website i provided and be apart of this conversation that needs to happen, or at the very least be aware of something that is a integrating itself into their lives.

the chip.

the note.

old navy.

gap.

i’m not sure if the text is really readable for these images, but this is what it said:

This product contains a Radio Frequency Identification Chip which act as transmitters to radio signals sent by transceivers.  This technology has the capability to track you wherever it is you travel.  There are currently no laws in place to protect you from this invasion of privacy, as it is not required for the 100+ companies that embed RFID chips into their goods to tell their consumers they actively use them.

 

Protect your right to privacy.

 

www.spychips.com 

also, most of the notes i left were in the pockets of clothing that were already on the floor. i wasn’t able to document any of these but was able to capture these in the privacy of my dressing room. ideally, there would be lots lots more then just the twenty i did.

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21 Comments so far
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Wow this is definitely a cause that I’ve never been aware of. Of course I’ve purchased clothing with those “remove before wearing or washing” tags but I never knew why they were there and I actually didn’t think much of it either. This was a clever cause for you to create awareness for and I think that your execution of the project did create awareness but you didn’t use your body in an influential enough way. For me, this relates more to the last project we did when we tagged things. You tagged the clothing but you were supposed to bring attention to your cause in a more obvious and public way instead of purposefully trying to hide the tags in clothing. The idea is right but the execution isn’t exactly what it was supposed to be. I know more about these chips though now thanks!

Comment by Lisa Beth Earle

i was completely surprised when i read your statement. i was oblivious to such a device being used in clothing. i think you accomplished part of the assignment, by making the public aware of an issue most people don’t even know exist. but i’m not sure how you used your body to awaken the public. i understand you tried on the clothes and safety pinned your notes to the clothing but other than that i’m confused how you used your body. all in all, i believe that this project has a lot of potential and is a great concept. thanks for making me aware of the rfid chips.
beatriz duran.

Comment by felinocurioso

This is so strange… I had no idea about this but I literally just bought a sweater and noticed in the seam a little pouch that said remove before washing or wearing. I have never seen anything like this and I was very confused. However, now I know exactly what it is! I am glad you did this project because it is definitely bringing public awareness to something that most likely the majority of people have no idea is happening. However I feel that this also is more in line with project two–or more of an integration of project two and a requirement from project three. I am not sure how you are using your body to bring about this public awareness. It seems you are using the notes as your means of informing. Maybe you could do some performance wearing these articles of clothing that have the chip in them? Is there a way for the public to see where these chips are? If so I think that would be a great way to incorporate your body more into this project.

Heather Summerville

Comment by hnsummer

your project is a very interesting and thought provoking. You are trying to make a select few publicly aware of this issue. i think it is great how you tucked the notes into the clothing and when people buy them they will find these note and most likely be intrigued by what the message reads. so in this case your project is very successful.but i do agree with the comments above that you should have found a way to incorporate your body more in some way.

laura cohen

Comment by lauraleecohen

I was not aware of these chip things, and I find it very weird!! so I think you have a good point that you strongly believe in and do not feel very comfortable with so the fact that you want to aware people of this is a good start to your project, the way you executed it I find it successful, that you put notes on these goods that people buy. I would have liked to see you participate a little more in the actual performance maybe by telling people yourself about this, because I feel that many people that find these are not going to understand entirely what is going on, and get your point across like you wanted.

Isabel Almada

Comment by isy88

This is really interesting, I have no idea these chips in my clothes we actually track able. I know they say remove before wearing, but I never I any scissors and leave them in there. Its weird that someone can actually track me. I also think this is a good way to raise awareness, I would definitely think twice about purchasing something with the chip if I saw this sign. I think it would also be interesting to maybe pass out little flyers or something. Saying like ” your being tracked right now” and explain why. Interesting work.

Comment by Ashlee Salamon

I’ve heard about this on the discovery channel. These chips even have the possibility of being placed in a person right? It is a scary concept and your message is a new one for sure. I feel like the whole “leaving notes behind on certain products” project has been done during this class a few times now, and I wish you maybe had gone a different direction with the performance aspect. I do like that you actually involved products that had the RFID tags in them.

-Chris Meiser

Comment by ckmeiz

Very interesting. I am trying to imagine finding one of these tags, and it would definitely inlighten me. But I would question if it were real, or I might think that the company put the note in there. I think you could have left some information or maybe a link to a website in a way to identify who you are or what your aims are. Or maybe this could have been tackled in a way where you interacted somehow with the consumers an therefore complied with the aims of the assignment.
You opened my eyes to something I knew nothing about.
Thanks
Leigh

Comment by Leigh

I really love this project on both a performance basis and as a project on your blog. Not only does this information educate the audience about such a pervasive violation of rights, but it really communicates to whomever decides to try that item on next. I really enjoy the combination of the simplicity of writing juxtaposed with such a new media technology. It creates a nice contrast. Maybe in light of the performance side of the project you could have more integrated yourself into the idea. Because of your execution your performance lacked a strong sense of your identity within it. Other than that props to attacking such an interesting and relevant issue.

Comment by cpcoughlin

This was a really interesting thing to do for your project. I have heard of radio frequency identification before, but never knew it was used to that extent. You were successful in your performance and involving the public. I think people would be happy to find your note and become aware of what they are purchasing.

-Teresa Le

Comment by teresale12

This project was very enlightening and informative as well as being very creative. I really enjoyed your artist statement and like your use of notes for other people to find. I think the project was very well thought out and definitely hits home for whatever viewers may come across it. As others have stated the “performance” element is fantastic and very well thought out. And I agree with you that it would be fun and interesting to do more products and other stores.
Marisa Szewczyk

Comment by sincitygirl

This might be a silly question but why are companies switching from simple bar codes to rfid chips? I was not aware of this crazy technology that is being used on me an other consumers – thanks for informing me!

I like the way your project targeted a particular person who either buys or tries on the jeans that you tampered with which makes more of a potent statement then telling people in the masses, although I wish you had made it look like more of a tag or part of the jeans so its more believable to the viewer…if you were set on using paper then possibly putting it on a red piece of paper with a large words saying WARNING: (and then your statement) maybe that would make more of an impact?just a thought but great concept! keep on tagging those jeans!

Comment by kbedrick

I had absolutely no prior knowledge of these chips and I find it very eerie that they exists in my life and I was completely unaware. So I loved your project and I think it’s a really interesting way to approach a performance piece. I first like your project because you are supplying the public with information that they most likely have no idea about I sure did not I love that aspect about educating the public. I think that way that you approached it too is really cool I love the subtlety and stelthness you took in order to do your performance piece. So often people expect performance art to be on the stage in the spotlight or being loud and oblivious but this surreptitiousness method you took this is the best way and the only way to get this knowledge out because it shows people that it exists in there life directly and the experience on reading that on a piece of clothing that they would potentially by proves that it effects them directly. Thanks for spreading the knowledge!

Comment by cpcoughlin

ahhh that comment wasnt by chase it was by lexi clayburn i forgot to log him off

lexi clayburn_I had absolutely no prior knowledge of these chips and I find it very eerie that they exists in my life and I was completely unaware. So I loved your project and I think it’s a really interesting way to approach a performance piece. I first like your project because you are supplying the public with information that they most likely have no idea about I sure did not I love that aspect about educating the public. I think that way that you approached it too is really cool I love the subtlety and stelthness you took in order to do your performance piece. So often people expect performance art to be on the stage in the spotlight or being loud and oblivious but this surreptitiousness method you took this is the best way and the only way to get this knowledge out because it shows people that it exists in there life directly and the experience on reading that on a piece of clothing that they would potentially by proves that it effects them directly. Thanks for spreading the knowledge!

Comment by cpcoughlin

I had absolutely no prior knowledge of these chips and I find it very eerie that they exists in my life and I was completely unaware. So I loved your project and I think it’s a really interesting way to approach a performance piece. I first like your project because you are supplying the public with information that they most likely have no idea about I sure did not I love that aspect about educating the public. I think that way that you approached it too is really cool I love the subtlety and stelthness you took in order to do your performance piece. So often people expect performance art to be on the stage in the spotlight or being loud and oblivious but this surreptitiousness method you took this is the best way and the only way to get this knowledge out because it shows people that it exists in there life directly and the experience on reading that on a piece of clothing that they would potentially by proves that it effects them directly. Thanks for spreading the knowledge!

Comment by lexiclayburn

I love this project and this class for that matter because it brings to my attention a lot of issues i was previously unaware of and this is definitely one of those projects. These chips you speak of is an issue the goes under the raider and I want to thank you for bringing it to our attention. Your really grasped the heart of the project by awakening the public. Your take on a performance piece was a little different then i expected i would have liked to see a little more of you in the piece. Other wise great job very informative. Its great to see how people incorporate the different assignments form class into their final project.

Comment by m3hammer

truly informative project that amplifies awareness, the method of which your chose to disperse your information was apporpriate for the cause. nice job.
Samantha M. Sais

Comment by Samantha M. Sais

excellent project Christian. Bravo. A+

Comment by Sama

All not so is simple, as it seems

Comment by LeraJenkins

i can’t believe this, all this time i’ve been saving these things thinking they were patches in case my pants ripped or something. i just got one out to patch up a pair of pants and couldn’t get it to open. finally I got frustrated so i looked it up on here to see how these work and found this out! WOW! Thanks for the info!

Comment by amy

What necessary phrase… super, excellent idea

Comment by PeterMontee




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