For Elevate Arts 2018 and within the framework of the first Elevate artist-residency the British media artist Andy King was invited to Graz. In her mostly political and often ironic works she frequently deals with themes of the digital age. For Elevate, she created a series of photographed portraits of whistleblowers that were deformed beyond recognition using various digital glitch techniques.
The idea behind this is to trace the character of the whistleblower: as someone who uncovers and is revolutionary, as a security risk and a traitor, as a martyr in the fight against abuse of power – in any case as a disruptive factor within perfectly established systems of state secrecy. Whistleblowing requires courage and a willingness to take risks, for the consequences of such a disruption are wildly unpredictable. In the series System Error the fundamental functions of whistleblowers are translated into a visual language. Some of the portrayed persons themselves were guests on the Elevate discourse programme, including Thomas Drake, and Jesselyn Radack. This side programme contextualises the work of Andy King and deepens the understanding of the audience of contemporary work about important social and political issues.