Steve Mann
Prior Art: Art of Record for Personal Safety
Curated by Kathleen Pirrie Adams

Opening Thursday 2001 Jul 5, 7pm, on display until 2001 Jul 28. Gallery TPW, 80 Spadina Ave., Toronto. Admission is free. (Free of cost, as well as Anthrax-free.)
In and around the entranceway some clothing (Mann's wearable computer inventions) is on exhibit. This is the only place in the facility where clothing will be allowed:
Entrance to gallery, alternatively cemented.

Into the next room, a recently constructed mass decontamination facility is shown in a partially constructed state, so that we can see around it, and understand how it works:
Column shower and triage room made of six smoked lexan windows.
The central triage/observation room shown above was built from six large sheets of very dark smoked lexan. The hexagonal shape of this room is comprised of its windows, each of which make up an entire wall. We cannot see into the triage/observation room because it is dark inside the room, but we know that if one or more persons were inside that they could very clearly see out into the six hexagonal rooms that are to be built around it. The locations where the walls of these six hexagonal rooms are to be built are marked in red tape:
floor tape on hardwood floor to mark walls; shown here
          is also the marking for the turnstile at women's
          entrance to the decontamination facililty.
Here we see, for example, the entrance to women's stripdown and bagging room showing, in yellow tape, where the rotors of a RotoGate high security seven foot high turnstile will go.

Separate entrances for men and women are to be provided. Three of the six rooms are for men, and the other three are for women.

The shiny tape on the hardwood floor, and the choice of colors (red and yellow) is also reminiscent of the markings on a gymnasium floor (thus calling to mind the inevitable communal stripdown and shower experience to follow).

A column shower is to be installed in each of the two shower rooms. A Bradley six station column shower has already been installed in the men's washdown room:
Sensor operated column shower in which five of the six nozzles
          are visible.  Also visible are three of the six small round viewing
          windows, and some of the 12 laser diode body scanners,
          two being positined below each viewing window.

Version of above picture with color removed: .

The knobs and soap dishes have been removed from the column shower, and the holes where these items once were have been replaced with a machine vision system comprised of 12 laser diode body scanners together with six round lexan viewing windows moulded into the inside of the column. There are two laser diode body scanners for each of the video sensors that are located at each of the six stations, for purposes of photometric stereo imaging of the bodies of the users of the column shower. A set of six video motion detectors with an Internet connected machine vision computer is to be placed inside each of the two column showers in the men's and women's washdown rooms. The system is sealed and completely watertight. Here is a closeup picture of the six round watertight viewports of the column shower currently in use in the men's washdown room:
Sensor operated column shower closeup showing detailed view of
          three of the six round
          smoked lexan viewing windows mounted into the column so that the
          machine vision system can observe users of the shower.
Three of the round smoked lexan viewing windows are visible here. Up to six men can use this shower at the same time, but only the number of stations actually being occupied will consume water. Moreover, water is only consumed when a user is present. Since there are no knobs or controls of any kind, there is no possibility for deliberately destructive acts such as might otherwise happen when users deliberately (or accidentally) leave the water running. Each of the six nozzles face one side of the hexagonal shaped room to maximize space usage and efficiency.

One of the six walls in this room is made entirely of smoked lexan, so that triage personnel or decontamination officers can supervise the decontamination process, whereas the six or fewer men in this room cannot see the triage personnel or decontamination officers, because of the darkness of the lexan (transmissivity is approximately 10 percent, meaning that transmissivity squared is approximately 1 percent, as compared to roughly four percent reflectivity of the surface, such that any visual perception of triage personnel or decontamination officers will fall below a noise floor).

Typically, however, the triage personnel or decontamination officers operate the facility remotely by way of six video cameras installed in the triage/observation room. These six cameras are connected to six television receivers at a remote location, as shown below:
Six television receivers hanging from the ceiling in a hexagonal
          arrangement, providing video output from cameras concealed behind
          the six walls of the triage/observation room.

The six television receivers are arranged in the same hexagonal formation.

Six closed circuit television receivers suspended from the ceiling display outputs from each of the six decontamination rooms, as observed from the triage room.

The four of the six screens that are visible here correspond to (from left to right) the:

Note also the hexagon made from red tape on the floor has the same physical dimensions as the triage/observation room. The display surface of each of the six television receivers is aligned with and centered along the middle of a corresponding side of the hexagon depicted on the floor in red tape.

Although the television displays shown here are of poor resolution:

(Here is the view from the men's decontamination/triage officer station, during a Decon Drill, held at the 80 Spadina Ave. facility, Thursday July 5th, 2001.)
The cameras are of very high quality and high resolution, so that remote triage personnel can clearly distinguish, for example, anthrax, from dust or other dirt. Archived images can also be used as evidence to prosecute those placing society at risk by failing to properly undergo decontamination.

Thus high resolution sensors are to be used throughout the facility to ensure satisfactory video quality:
Patients undressing and putting their clothing and personal
          belongings into bags in the men's stripdown and bagging room. Patients showering at a Bradley six station column shower
          in the men's washdown room. Patients lining up to receive their tyvek jumpsuits.

The above images illustrate the: (1) Strip; (2) Wash; and (3) Cover procedure.

These three steps were practiced in the 2001 July 5th decon drill:

Download a Decon Drill training video.

The exhibit is an interplay or battle or war between individuals (wearing computers or other cyborg technology) and the state or authority that tries to strip its civilians of their clothing and their dignity.

The exhibit features the world's first true wearable computer, along with other wearable computers from the last twenty years, together with the mass decontamination facility that includes the most modern Internet connected sensor operated showers with photometric stereo body-scanning machine vision capability.

Return to mass decontamination facility

Why are we doing this? Here's some excerpts from various government and industry WWW sites.

Here is a 2001 April 1 article outlining the general essence of this exhibit.

This exhibit was mentioned in an article in the Toronto Star.

Curatorial Essay by exhibition curator Kathleen Pirrie Adams, on a site designed by Michelle Kasprzak, to be viewed in any browser.