I did this piece on the controversy surrounding TSA airport screening practices with the addition of back-scatter imaging scanners in most airports. Airport Security has become a big issue on the American public’s minds with these new procedures and full body imaging scanners. Invasion of privacy has become the price for “security”, not to mention the possibility of harmful effects of repeated exposure to radiation for frequent flyers that has yet to be fully studied. Some TSA agents have been fired for inappropriate conduct in light of the new scanners which show an inverted (negative) image of your naked body on a screen.
So, I came up with this idea of doing a mock-advert for the Transportation Security Administration. Sort of like old propaganda posters from wartime it would play on the audiences fears and speculations. I decided that making posters with negative connotations and implications would be a little more fun than trying to create a positive take on the new procedures.
Here I’ve invented a creepy TSA character who is more than happy to give you a pat down, or review the images from the new backscatter full-body scanners. One of the biggest problems travelers are having with these new scanners is that in a back room somewhere there is a man or woman viewing an image of their naked body. Speculation and fears of what that man or woman may be doing with those images makes people feel violated or abused.
I decided to go with the idea of this man in a dimly-lit private “screening room” enjoying the show. The result is an image that is a little unnerving and slightly creepy. Although it is still slightly tongue-in-cheek, I think it addresses the negative feelings and opinions that have surfaced due to these new screening procedures.