THIS IS WHAT YOU ARE MISSING(2012–2015)
This is What You Are Missing probes at the tensions between political and digital borders. Highlighting media gatekeeping and the limits of internet access, it identifies a user’s location and then presents YouTube videos which are blocked in their country due to censorship, content, and copyright laws. Allowing the user to then ‘Cross Borders’, it also provides a glimpse into the types of content blocked in other countries.
The research-driven project demonstrates how complex systems of censorship and distribution create borders in digital space which follow the national borders of physical space, pointing to the power relations maintained by those barriers. For example, 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. Serving as an archive of the types of content blocked in each country, the work complicates the openness of the web, raising questions about citizenship on and offline.
This project now exists in the form of documentation as it has been made increasingly unstable by YouTube's changing algorithms.
Programming assistance: John Haltiwanger and Oren Mittman