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Julie Freeman Rodent Activity Transmissions Rat Systems 2016  Photo By Gareth Jones 1

Colony Omega Redacted Portraits (2016)

Should data privacy be restricted to humans? RAT.systems involves tracking (but not experimenting on) Colony Omega - a colony of naked mole-rats maintained in an artificial environment designed for behavioural observation. Freeman has blocked out all of their eyes. This humorous act strangely highlights the individuality of each of the naked mole-rats. It also stems from, and refers to, wider and more serious concerns. Poachers are said to be using metadata from tourist’s photographs on safari, or even academic papers, to locate and kill endangered animals. Respecting an animal’s right to privacy may become akin to respecting their right to life. The work re-contextualises more human-centric privacy issues

Courtesy of the artist. Portraits by Lorna Ellen Faulkes, commissioned by Julie Freeman and Dr. Chris Faulkes.

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