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Nancy Nisbet: Exchange 2006

June 19, 2006 - June 22, 2006


Year 2006 Theme

Canadian artist Nancy Nisbet will be parking her 18-wheeler at Pier 21 on Wednesday, 21 June and proceeding down the boardwalk to NSCAD and back, from 1-4pm. This event is part of her Exchange 2006 tour — a freewheeling, free trade-resistant, frequency-jamming trek around the contintent.

Fear of terrorism and the perceived need for increased national security through identity authentication have given rise to widespread use of Radio Frequency Identification Devices. Sometimes referred to as “spychips,” RFIDs use radio frequency signals to track moving objects and are emerging as a popular means of tracing consumer spending patterns. RFID technology is used in livestock management, pharmaceutical labelling, libraries, public transportation, credit cards and, in some countries, passports. More controversial is the embedding of RFID chips in consumer goods such as clothing, and recent experiments in human under-the-skin tagging.

Exchange 2006 is a cross-border intervention combining surveillance technology, a full-size transport truck, and all of the artist’s personal belongings. In this sustained experiment, which takes place directly out of the truck, the belongings are inventoried, RFID tagged and freely traded with individuals encountered during a six month road trip through Canada, the United States and Mexico. The entire project constitutes a border-crossing critique of NAFTA, an experiment in personal identification-jamming, and a technology-tracked critique of modern-day intrusions on personal privacy.

Many thanks to the Halifax Port Authority and the Pier 21 Society for their assistance in coordinating this event.