NATIONAL SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY RESEARCH INSTITUTE
I founded The National Suspicious Activity Research Institute (NSI) to perform an in-depth study of suspicious activity. The lack of clearly defined characteristics of suspicious activity with public awareness campaigns such as the Department of Homeland Security’s “7 Signs of Terrorism”– led me to worry that these public campaigns may lead to false accusations, unnecessary fear and general erosion of the social trust. I hypothesized that the body and gesture played a key role in the early detection of suspicious movement and additionally, that I should be responsible for creating the groundwork for a locomotive study of suspicious activity.
In the first phase, I travelled to various areas of D.C (dressed as an official field researcher of the NSI) and interviewed random people about their experiences with suspicious activity. In conjunction, I documented the bodily movements of suspicions persons re-enacted by surveyed participants. These videos were archived and then fed through a motion-analysis algorithm. The resulting images and narratives were uploaded to an on-line database to provide a specificity of evidence intended to deconstruct the process of classifying an activity as ‘suspicious’. Finally, instructional posters based on this collection of mundane movements were designed and placed in the public space as a counter-information campaign.