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Excellence Award

The Men In Grey

The Men In Grey

Other [Germany]

This work depicts two mysterious men clad in grey suits and carrying briefcases tightly packed with hardware and software. Using open wireless networks, the men in grey collect and disclose a variety of invisible information that is flooding our environment, and then disappear without a trace. Any open wireless network becomes their stage for a reverse-engineering of network dependence and the implicit trust we place in the metal and minds that make it.

© The Men In Grey


The Men In Grey


The Men In Grey describe themselves as "A direct manifestation of a citizen's network anxiety." Their reach seems to span both networks and cities worldwide: when not seen operating in public, their devices are hidden often encountered attached to wall sockets, even integrated into common consumerperipherals. It is unclear what The Men In Grey want or if they are following anyone in particular. One phrase echoes throughout traces of their passing however: "Dissect And Reflect."

( 2010 )

Award Reason

A work that poses the question "How can we trust the world?"
New technologies transcend and invalidate the various boundaries of public and private, nationality, gender, and wealth disparity that used to divide and govern the existing public space. Yet, this does not mean that the boundaries themselves have ceased to exist. On the contrary, new and previously unheard of boundaries and barriers appear. This reminds us of the fact that it is technology that creates boundaries.
The Men In Grey is a work filled with irony. It suggests that information security and other matters that depend on the reliability of technology cannot be upheld through the means of technology alone, and are gradually turning into something that can be secured only through the respect for truth that lies in the foundation of interpersonal relations since ancient times, and through the internalized relationship of mutual trust. How will security transcend the boundary between internal and external? This is precisely the question “How can we trust the world?”

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