There are two themes in this section; the contribution arts makes to privacy and the contribution computational sciences may make to the arts. ‘Art’, ‘artist’ and ‘fine arts’ in another value laden, cultural specific term, one that I am wholly unqualified to discuss. I suggest you start here.
Meanwhile, I can say that artists often engage in critical social commentary. Surveillance artists help inform expectations with data subjects (aka all of us). This comes at a time when a critical eye is turning towards artistic endeavors that invade traditional privacy norms. Most recently, there was a short film produced by two directors using a drone to film actors having sex on a rooftop in Brooklyn. Although it was staged, it brought to bear a social conversation about the potential use of drones and how they may capture our data. See below as an example, and the comment threads in particular.
Unlike traditional surveillance cameras that usually identify an owner (e.g., the camera I am holding while I record a video, or the name on the building on which the surveillance camera is mounted) drones do not clearly identify who the owners are by virtue of being. Another example is Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s portraiture of DNA samples from discarded hair, cigarettes and gum that she collected. Other artists deliberately use surveillance tactics themselves, Conversnitch is a project that tweets overhead conversations collected from an eavesdropping device placed in public spaces. These examples, and many others, raise the question of whether this type of art is ‘fair game’ (Maass, 2014).
Such artwork is a valuable social commentary. See more visual examples in the links below: