PER SPECULUM IN ÆNIGMATE is a meditation on the tension between concealment and exposure in the surveillance society. It is also a functioning encrypted communications system.

The project’s name comes from the First Epistle to the Corinthians (“For now we see through a glass darkly”). Today, our desire to “know even as we are also known” by those in our social networks conflicts with our essential need for a zone of privacy. The virtual spaces we inhabit are controlled by government and corporate entities that desire to know us in full — while being known by us, at most, only in part.

During the fall of 2013, project participants sent PGP-encrypted messages to the artist. He converted the messages — which he could not read — into QR codes, and superimposed them onto anaglyph images of an anonymous model, concealed by pixelation, but still partly discernible when viewed via red/cyan 3D glasses. As images were posted to the project’s Tumblr, intended recipients were able to scan and decrypt the messages hidden therein.

An artist lecture on the project was presented at the HOPE X conference in July 2014, along with prints of the images. For details on print sizes and prices, please contact the artist.