Performance For Surveillance: Escape Goat/Ghost

UPDATE 5/28/14 9:15 a.m.

Approximately six months since the first staging of Performance for Surveillance, the second installation in the series --- Escape Goat/Ghost --- was performed on May 26, 2014 in the same location.

As with the previous performance, Escape Goat/Ghost was well documented and an electronic Freedom of Information Act request was filed on 5/28 around 9 a.m. with the Department of Homeland Security for documentation of the event.

Well, sort of.

Whether by design or incredible incompetence, the Department of Homeland Security Website for FOIA was dead.

My first choice for submitting my FOIA request was the The Customs and Border Protection link which could not be found.

dhs foia

Since CBP was not a functioning option I choose Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. After spending approximately five minutes filling out the information I learned my request could not be submitted because, oddly, access was denied.

dhs foia

Six months since I filed my last FOIA application with DHS, my request appears to have fallen into an abyss.  Perhaps this latest turn of events --- simply not offering the ability for the public to file DHS FOIA requests electronically --- is more honest than the charade of processing a request eternally.

None-the-less it is an interesting turn of events in this on-going performance.

Attempted FOIA Request Letter Filed With DHS.


Re: Freedom of Information Act Request

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act.

I request that a copy of any and/or all video/audio/reports be provided to me made on 5/28/14 between 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. --- of performance in the vicinity of  GPS coordinates:  31° 29' 09.99" N  111° 33' 15.94" W  ---  West of the Sasabe Port of Entry between wall markers .555 and .888.

If Civil Rights and Civil Liberties is not the correct DHS component for this request, it is requested that information regarding the appropriate component and all contact information be returned or that this request be forwarded directly to the correct component. It should also be noted the electronic FOIA filing link on this page for CBP is non-functional.

In order to help to determine my status to assess fees, you should know that I am a representative of the news media affiliated with and this request is made as part of news gathering and not for a commercial use.

I am also affiliated with educational outreach via presentations and this request is made for a scholarly purpose and not for a commercial use.

 I am also an individual seeking information for personal use and not for a commercial use.

I request a waiver of all fees for this request. Disclosure of the requested information to me is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in my commercial interest.

For 8 years has been operating as a non-traditional news and information service through performance, field recordings, video and still image documentation, published writings, public presentations, installations, tours and other services.

In the most recent exercise --- Performance for Surveillance Series : Escape Goat/Ghost --- a site specific score was performed for amplified border wall and desert ephemera, feedback, video and surveillance.

The work is a site specific installation for the location referenced in the second paragraph of this FOIA request, however, it can be transferred to virtually any other environment.

This work explores the relationship between public performance and surveillance in public places and how that work is viewed in the larger context of security. While the information dissemination construct is nontraditional it uses traditional journalistic practices of objectivity and authenticity to explore these issues.

A video documenting this work has been publicly posted at:

A public blog documenting this process can be found at:

The score from this work can be found at:


The score is also copyrighted under registration number: PA 1-876-933.

Future uses of this material will likely include presentations, writing, seminars and performance.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

I look forward to your reply.

Stay tuned,

Glenn Weyant 

UPDATE 5/28/14 9:37 a.m.

In a curious turn of events, approximately 30 minutes after filing the FOIA with DHS and receiving the aforementioned access denied and not available messages, a reply rejecting the FOIA request was received stating the request "did not establish a nexus between the records and this office, and did not specifically identify the records which you are seeking."

This makes sense as the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties was only chosen because Customs and Border Protection was not a functioning option.

The performance continues...

FOIA Request Response Electronic Letter From DHS

Good afternoon,

After careful review of your FOIA request, I determined that your request is too broad in scope, did not establish a nexus between the records and this office, and did not specifically identify the records which you are seeking.

Records must be described in reasonably sufficient detail to enable government employees who are familiar with the subject area to locate records without placing an unreasonable burden upon the agency. For this reason, §5.3(b) of the DHS regulations, 6 C.F.R. Part 5, require that you describe the records you are seeking with as much information as possible to ensure that our search can locate them with a reasonable amount of effort.

Whenever possible, a request should include specific information about each record sought, such as the date, title or name, author, recipients, and subject matter of the records, if known, or the DHS component or office you believe created and/or controls the record.

The FOIA does not require an agency to create new records, answer questions posed by requesters, or attempt to interpret a request that does not identify specific records. Please resubmit your request containing a reasonable description of the records you are seeking. Upon receipt of a perfected request, you will be advised as to the status of your request. If I do not hear from you within 10 days from the date of this e-mail, I will assume you are no longer interested in this FOIA request, and the case will be administratively closed. Please be advised that this action is not a denial of your request and will not preclude you from filing other requests in the future. Please feel free to contact me anytime with any questions.


Ms. Aeron J. Pineiro

FOIA Officer Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties

U.S. Department of Homeland Security