Always Watching Part I: A Conversation with the TSA

Twitter & Facebook intervention, performance for video

Nearly every time I go to the airport I’m “randomly” checked, in this intervention I attempt to open a dialogue with the TSA about a shared experience I have with many of my colleagues that are brown and/or have facial hair. My first form of inquiry was through Twitter, I sent a headshot to @askTSA that asked:


Do you recommend shaving before flying? Whenever I have a beard I get

checked but I shaved last time and I wasn’t checked.


Typical response time from @askTSA is 30 to 45 minutes, in this scenario it took them over 24 hours. Out of seven post I made they only responded to two, one of which they tried to redirect me to the Homeland Security website to email them about my issues. Instead, I invited the Homeland security to the conversation via Twitter as well and never received a response.

Shortly after I created a video performance that shows my usual preparation for the airport. All of the scenes are shot on an iPhone and laptop, as if the NSA were watching me.

This intervention and performance ultimately inspired and led me to create Become Camera.

The full intervention can be found on