interactive website

This is What You Are Missing probed at the gaps between political and digital borders. Highlighting media gatekeeping and the limits of internet access, it identified a user’s location and then presented YouTube videos that were blocked in their country due to censorship, content, and copyright laws. Allowing the user to then ‘Cross Borders’, the work also provided a glimpse into the types of content blocked in other countries.

The research-driven project demonstrated how complex systems of censorship and distribution create borders in digital space that follow the national borders of physical space, and pointed 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, its current (though contested) attitudes towards censorship,  and the privileged position of its internet users. Serving as an archive of the types of content blocked in each country, the work complicated 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 API.

Programming assistance: John Haltiwanger and Oren Mittman