Raquel de Anda, Ron Morrison, and Ayodamola Tanimowo Okunseinde, graduates of the MS Design and Urban Ecologies and MFA Design and Technology programs, combined their creative and intellectual skills to address a critical issue. Inspired by the tale of Argus Panoptes, the mythological many-eyed guardian, the three worked with artist Gan Golan and filmmaker Ligaiya Romero to stage a design intervention aimed at sparking conversation about police accountability.
The Argus Project, their transmedia provocation, combines wearable sculpture, video, and interactive performance in what they call “Activist Technology for the Citizen Body.” Resembling superhero armor, the futuristic suit is embedded with cameras, enabling wearers to document abuses of police power. Interviews with officers, activists, and family members affected by police brutality and institutional racism play across multiple screens. The intervention—training for citizen activists—is a platform for commenting on state surveillance and police brutality.
Okunseinde says, “Viewers tend to stop for a moment, wondering if what they’re seeing is real or fictional, while an activist impulse forms in their minds.” All three creators focus on social justice, but their collective efforts gave rise to a uniquely compelling outcome. De Anda, a cultural producer and curator who has long engaged with equity, served as overall producer. Morrison, a designer with a social practice, lent his experience in urban and sociotechnical systems. And Okunseinde, known for his progressive approach to art and technology and his embrace of Afrofuturism, acted as technical lead.