Tomas Percival is an artist, researcher, and writer. His work critically investigates the intersections of space and security, with a particular interest in structures of assessment, risk governance, carceral geographies, data infrastructures, and border administration. He holds an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles. He was previously a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Political Science at Leiden University and artist-in-residence at the Jan van Eyck Academie. He is currently a Lecturer at the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London.
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Prison Records

PhD researcher

Date: 2019-24
Institution: Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London
This PhD project examines structures of assessment within the field of security. The thesis investigates the deployment of socio-technical assemblages—which may include risk assessment tools, databases of association, modes of measurement, psychosocial testing, bureaucratic structures, and/or predictive algorithms—as a specific mode of governing individuals in relation to information, security, and risk. The study primarily investigates the data infrastructures of the UK prison estate, analysing how assessment systems are implemented to generate punitive accounts of incarcerated individuals while simultaneously producing a limited horizon of accountability. The thesis further explores how these systems leak out and reorganise decision-making and politics more broadly through demands for interoperability and multi-agency data-sharing practices. This research offers a critical analysis of the deployment of assessment systems and data infrastructures within the security field. It tracks their effects on structures of governance at various scales and intensities. Additionally, the project examines the forms of resistance that have emerged in response to these punitive structures and technical systems, and articulates possible modes of fugitivity beyond capture.