The ‘Host’ – Anti-surveillance

The ‘Host’ – Anti-surveillance

Weiyi Xia


I first designed the anti-surveillance mask, the anti-capitalist control mask. Research at the time was beginning to focus on capitalist surveilance and face- recognition surveillance cameras became the best hope of surveilance capitalists: to turn people’s behavior in public space into profitable data. The mask itself is a fragment of the skin of the face obtained through 3D scanning technology that simulates surround monitoring. I wanted to break out of space with a smaller substance.

I took two sets of photos to express the mask of anti-capitalist surveillance on facial technology recognition. In the first one, I drew a makeup similar to that of a clown. The clown seemed to express the comedy, but behind it was the sadness that others could not see. Clowns can hide their true appearance through their masks and makeup, so that others cannot see or guess their thoughts, let alone monitor them.

The point of makeup and masks, of course, is to disguise, to keep people from seeing who they really are.

People often use facial expressions to express their inner emotions, but this can also be a false shelter in interpersonal communication. We often use a relaxed and happy expression to cover up the negative emotions in communication, but the excessive use of facial expression has also become an obstacle in interpersonal communication.

I wanted to look at space through an unfixed pattern and see it from an ever-changing perspective. The definition of space can sometimes go beyond physical understanding. Call it an exploration of social, cultural, and psychological boundaries.


The picture I have drawn is a translation of the dystopia established in the novel 1984, which conveys the totalitarianism and total surveillance of Big Brother in the war. What I am thinking of at present is to directly translate some words into spatial expression through my thoughts. Through the translation of many metaphors , the imagination of space at different scales. Therefore, the design is slowly developed around the details and techniques of expression of the novel. Buried in every corner of the house is something called a pneumatic duct, like these weird tentacles-like pipes that I’ve drawn, that can send paper documents anywhere in the world, like an invisible maze.

For the design of the space, I studied the mode of operation of the salt granule pulverizer and the different types of cutters used. The two pictures above show the actual movement axis of the cutter, and the one in the middle shows the different types of cutters and the different angles at which the machine’s cutters change during grinding.

Further development will find that different cutters will produce different component details. I studied the grinding process, then standardized the facade components, optimized according to the cutting machine standards, and finally came up with the effect of this plane. My original idea was to translate the different tool heads and their operating principles into a plane, and finally generate a three-dimensional facade structure effect (I need to pause the sharing screen and then switch to another screen).

You can see this model that I made, the stereo effect that I generated. But for the time being, it is not clear how its future will be applied to the space of my imagination. I can only say in general terms that in the surveillance situations I used in Winston’s home in the novel, these structures would change and twist in response to the surveillance, blocking the observer’s view and forming a pattern of movement.

Taking the totalitarianism in the war and the comprehensive surveillance of Big Brother in 1984 as the background, I imagined the space at different scales by means of metaphor and transfer of the novel content. The whole space is conceived based on the content of the novel. In 1984, Big Brother’s totalitarianism and total surveillance in war was conveyed. Today in 2021, the backdrop to this story is surveillance capitalism. So I wanted to reflect the totalitarianism of 1984 and the surveillance of capitalism of 2021 in this space. Contrast and parallelism of concepts.The space is filled with old English furniture, metaphorical objects to preserve memories and a salon for like-minded members of the Anti-Surveillance Group. A large number of lines or parallel shapes are used throughout the space to reflect backwards on the past and the future, emphasising “the concept of free time and open present”. We are often imprisoned by the habit of linear time, and nonlinear time opens up the connection between parallel Spaces and time, the contrast between fantasy and reality.

All the mirrors in this space will combine the form of cabinet revolving door, which can be opened and closed, and can be folded. The foldable furniture can reflect the surroundings, such as images of social demonstrations and slogans.

In Mr. Smith’s bedroom, his foldable dressing table is a constant reflection of the surroundings, and through the small window in the lower right corner we can see the actual events of the speeches and the demonstrations
Because in the age of technology, electronic products will be monitored. The way to obtain external information is to know the situation and information of the outside world through the reflection of the surroundings in the mirrors of different furniture. For example, with the dresser, I imagined that the mirror would reflect the outside, allowing Winston to get real-time information.




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