+ otherwise pictures llc


t h i n k t a n k

2014  |  video  |  color & b/w  |  sound  |  13 min
Holly Fisher
For projection or for continuously running wall installation.
Lois V Vierk


Thinktank is a tapestry in motion – in which 24 layers of iPhone video of swimming goldfish are laced with ambiguous floating text–transforming over time from a playful meditation on language into a haunting look into the ethos of the U.S. government surveillance dragnet. Music is by avant-garde composer Lois V Vierk.

This film is a few minutes shorter than Goldfish Variations, with the same music, one cut in mid-section, and with floating text slipped into the continuous flow of imagery as if I too was a hacker, responding to current events breaking in January, 2013. The particular event that triggered Thinktank was an article published in Das Speigel concerning the Edward Snowden leaks of NSA spy programs, reporting that the program at the center of this surveillance network had been code-named “TAO” (tailored access operations, renamed in spring 2017). As a former student of Taoism, the irony of this name linked to a spy protection program caught my attention. And so while Goldfish Variations is purely meditative, Thinktank may spark a more edgy type of contemplation. …


Companion piece to Goldfish Variations, also available on Vimeo. For an exercise in perception I look forward to exhibiting them on opposite walls within a gallery context. My thanks to Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden, Amy Goodman (Democracy Now), who made available the Das Speigel article and subsequent updates as more NSA surveillance programs were revealed. For more information about the NSA Surveillance programs go to: The Intercept – First Look Media

“Breaking: In a long-awaited decision, the 9th Circuit has ruled that the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ call records was illegal. The court held that the mass surveillance program violated Section 215—and very likely violated the 4th Amendment too.”
@PatrickCToomey (Patrick Toomey on Twitter) on Sept. 2, 2020
“Seven years ago, as the news declared I was being charged as a criminal for speaking the truth, I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA’s activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them. 
And yet that day has arrived.”
@Snowden (Edward Snowden on Twitter) on Sept. 2, 2020


Oh, I can think of a million places for Thinktank – from the big screen in Times Square to places where people have to wait for a long time (hospitals emergency waiting area, concert halls and movie theatres, football arenas, doctors’ clinics waiting rooms, consulates visa waiting rooms, airport boarding areas, corporate reception waiting areas, government offices, etc…) – and, dare I say, Chinese restaurants ( just kidding!).

–Michel Moushabeck, publisher/editor, Interlink


Remi Award “Film/Video Art,” WorldFest-Houston, 2015
Power/Play, two-person gallery exhibition/installation, The Augusta Savage Gallery, UMass Amherst, MA 2013