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USD Presents: a Talk by Artist Hasan Elahi

Reported by Katherine Sweetman


“After an erroneous tip-call into law enforcement authorities in 2002, Elahi was subjected to an intensive post-9/11 investigation by the FBI. After undergoing six months of interrogations and ultimately nine consecutive lie-detector tests, he was cleared of suspicions. After this harrowing experience, Elahi conceived “Tracking Transience” (, a self-tracking system that constantly and publicly presents his exact location, activities and other personal data. Both a self-surveillance project and a critique of moder interrogation techniques, “Tracking Transience” also provides an ongoing alibi for Elahi, in case of future accusations.” (from

Hasan Elahi (born 1972, Rangpur, Bangladesh) is an interdisciplinary artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, simulated time, transport systems, and borders and frontiers.

His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sundance Film Festival, Kassel Kulturbahnhof, and at the Venice Biennale. Elahi recently was invited to speak about his work at the Tate Modern, TED Global, The Einstein Forum, and at at the American Association of Artificial Intelligence. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by The New York Times, Forbes, Wired, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, Al Jazeera, Fox, and has also appeared on “The Colbert Report.”
Currently, he is associate professor of art and director of the Digital Cultures and Creativity Program at the University of Maryland. In 2010, he was an Alpert/ MacDowell Fellow and in 2009, he was Resident Faculty and Nancy G. MacGrath Endowed Chair at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

For more information about Hasan Elahi go to

Watch a video on TED Talks: “Hasan Elahi: FBI, here I am!”

Spring 2012 Lecture Series
FEBRUARY 21 @ 5:30 PM
Hasan Elahi: Artist Talk
Camino Hall 153

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