THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE MISSING

(2012–2015)

interactive website

This work probes the tension between political and digital boundaries and examines media gatekeeping as dictated by governmental and commercial interests. Specifically, it highlights the limits of internet access by identifying user location and presenting YouTube videos which are blocked in that country due to censorship, content, and copyright laws. Through the ‘Cross Borders’ feature, the work also provides a glimpse into the content blocked in other countries.

This is What You Are Missing demonstrates how complex systems of censorship and distribution rights create borders in digital space that follow the national borders of physical space, and points to the power relations maintained by those barriers (note that restricted videos in the United States are very rare, illustrating the country’s role in media creation and the privileged position of its internet users). The project serves as an archive of the specific content blocked in each country, and complicates the openness of the web, raising questions about citizenship on and offline.

The work now exists as documentation as it has been made increasingly unstable due to YouTube's changing algorithms.

Programming: John Haltiwanger and Oren Mittman