ARTWORK > Secret Codewords of the NSA

Woodblock print of genie coming out of a bottle by artist illustrator Annie Bissett depicting a secret code word of the NSA called genie
GENIE
Japanese woodblock (mokuhanga)
6" x 6" (15.24 x 15.24 cm)

Genie is an NSA program for installing malware in foreign computer systems so that they can be put under surreptitious U.S. control. There's a saying that it's hard to put a genie back in a bottle. This is true on so many levels when it comes to the NSA spying issues. Malware can't be put back in the bottle. The Snowden revelations can't be put back in the bottle. And our personal data can't be put back in the bottle either. The genie is all the way out of the bottle.

I first thought of the genie in Disney's Aladdin, but that genie came out of a lamp, and my genie definitely needed to be in a bottle. This led me to the bottle from the 1960s television show I Dream of Jeannie. The 1960s were full of television shows that were about space, technology, and/or spying during the Cold War and I Dream of Jeannie was part of that genre, as the main character was an astronaut. This rendering is based on the bottle from the show's first season, which was filmed in black and white.

Six applications of color, with blind emboss
Kochi Kozo paper
edition: 20