The Privacy of Our Kids
The Privacy of Our Kids

Tommi Brem, 2008
Set of 7 framed photos
Edition of three

This project was inspired by the global privacy discussion of the recent years that was especially fueled by electronic passport and Internet identity and data theft. At the same time, reports of child pornography being spread on the web increased in numbers, as did the demand for banning porn or the Internet altogether in certain countries or environments.

While these debates went on very loudly and very publicly in the mainstream media, people discovered the Internet and communities such as Flickr, Photobucket, Picasa, Myspace and Facebook as a very convenient way to archive, organize and share their photos, including family snapshots of their beloved children, very often much too you young to object to their image being presented to millions of strangers on the Internet.

This situation is both absurd and typical for our societies.
“The Privacy of Our Kids” feels very much at home in this situation.

All the images used were found on the Internet photo-pool www.flickr.com in summer 2008.

The search term used was “our kids” and the parameters were set to display images with a Creative Commons license only. The Creative Commons license basically allows other people to download and alter these images for private and non-commercial purposes under certain circumstances. The Flickr default setting when uploading pictures is “all rights reserved”. This means that users have to deliberately either change that default setting or adjust the setting for each picture. Flickr also offers the possibility to keep images entirely private or to display them to contacts or friends only.

The age of children was deliberately set to include babies, small children and teenagers. The range covers everything from complete helplessness up to an age where children begin to actually understand the concept of privacy, copyright and publishing.

Only images of a certain size were selected (generally above 800 pixels in width) and downloaded to a private hard-drive. Then, the faces of the children have been erased using Photoshop. Faces of adults have remained intact, as they could have objected to their image being published.

Once done, the images have been uploaded to a German online photo printing service and three copies of each image were ordered for delivery to a business address.

The framing has been done in exactly the way you will find in millions of homes. The frames come straight from the shop or were at hand at home and the images have been swiftly inserted.

The set consists of seven images of children of different age, different ethnic backgrounds and and from different times. Three sets have been produced.
7 photos · 357 views