This morning I received some information about an exhibition titled The New Normal. It is concerned with the use of private information as data and subject matter. The publicity material for the exhibition evokes social media as having had a profound effect on privacy: "With the rise of online commerce, many banks and retailers have developed sophisticated methods of tracking and studying the behavior of consumers, while increased use of the Internet has created new platforms for voluntary self-disclosure, from blogs to MySpace."
One of the questions that this project has raised for me concerns privacy and the implications of making seemingly private documents public, even though these private documents represent a working life or public life. I acknowledge, given my studies in history and heritage, that private documents are vital to the study and compilation of history. They give us rich insights into and personal stories about the past otherwise not accessible through the public record.
I find these ideas of privacy and disclosure quite beguiling. I am acutely aware, in my Transmission Lines project, that I need to be mindful of privacy and how much I reveal or disclose. In that process, I am endeavouring to draw attention to the magnitude of the contribution that migrant workers like my father made to, in and across this country.