The Surveillance State. The marquee story in our annual Global Thinkers issue, written by novelist William T. Vollmann, ruminates on the state of “the surveillance state” we now knowingly live in after the revelations of wide-reaching surveillance by the NSA. From his personal experience of being watched by the FBI (after securing his personal file through a FOIA request), he makes an eloquent argument against such intrusion, stating “I would rather risk becoming a terrorist’s victim than live under any such system.”
To accompany this piece, we asked illustrator Oliver Munday to create something based on this idea of The Surveillance State. Inspired by old Soviet-era posters (i.e. Alexander Rodchenko, Steinberg Brothers), we wanted something that felt like big brother and the all-seeing machine eye, using current references to the NSA story, hence the use of surveillance cameras and footage, email icons and mouse arrows, satellite towers, radomes (radar domes), and of course, the iconic eagle from the NSA seal in the center of it all.