Interview with Hal in the Globe and Mail about New Doc Peep Culture  

Here’s an interview with me in the Globe and Mail, mostly talking about the making of the documentary “Peep Culture”. I talk Peep, family, the future…anyway, check it out.

Hal Niedzviecki gets deep into the peep culture - The Globe and Mail_1297781843000


Full Body Scanners and Confessional Culture  

Really interesting piece in the Washington Post about Full Body Scanners, confessional culture, privacy and the decisions we make. I’m quoted as well, in the course of connecting our decision to go through a full body scanner or not to the rise of Peep Culture.

From the article:

More broadly, we have made peace with our confessional culture. If we are outwardly ambivalent that moments of deep personal anguish and light mundanity are processed into entertainment without much distinction on reality TV and YouTube, we nevertheless eagerly consume it all. We vote with links clicked and cookies accepted.

Even surveillance itself becomes titillation. As Hal Niedzviecki, a cultural commentator in Toronto and author of “The Peep Diaries,” points out, the evening news features surveillance camera footage of bungled convenience store robberies. Dash-cam arrest videos show up online. Niedzviecki calls the current state of things “peep culture.”

“Peep culture conditions us to want to use our privacy to achieve things,” says Niedzviecki, who suggests this breeds a kind of passivity, a failure to ask questions. “It’s not, ‘Oh, no, no, you can’t ask me to give this up.’ It’s, ‘Sure, you can have it, but what am I getting back?’”

In other words, we often feel we’re exercising control over what we give up. And we tend to focus on what we think we’re getting: security, social mobility, convenience, the validation of fellow Twitterati.

So, yes, the vast majority of us will continue to go through the full-body scanners. We will do it most of all because we hope the new technology makes us safer, but also because we’re in a rush, because we don’t want to make a fuss, because we don’t want to find out just how “enhanced” a pat-down can be, because we don’t even know what a full-body scanner is. We will do it because we’ve been inured to giving up things when we go to the airport, and it stinks, sure, but this is the price of flying in a scary age. We will do it because thinkingly or unthinkingly we have concluded this is a good bargain.


Peep Talk in Windsor, Ontario  

Come on out if you are in the area!
Free event!
Tuesday, November 9
8:00pm - 9:30pm
Location: Green Bean Cafe
2320 Wyandotte St W.
Windsor, ON
Hal Niedzviecki brings the Peep to Windsor in a public presentation based on his critically acclaimed book The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors (City Lights Books).

About the Talk: Join Hal as he chronicles the shift from Pop Culture to Peep Culture. In this lively presentation, Hal will explore everything from streets lined with surveillance cameras and daycares equipped with webcams to citizens eager to track themselves. Behind all those cameras, cell phones and profiles are real people. Hal will introduce you to, among others, the digicam vigilante behind, the masterminds of Twitter, a Star Wars obsessed sex slave housewife blogger, and so much more!


Facebook, Catfish, and Peep  

Some interesting thoughts in this piece with the main theme: “in the world of social media, nothing is real”.

Very refreshing to read something thoughtful that connects the various silo-ed categories media usually puts this stuff in. Which is to say that the writer, Denise Ryan, looks at a the doc-moc trend, and explores the way ‘networking’ is changing in the era of social media, and takes a snapshot of the big picture of Peep Culture. 

All that plus commentary from yours truly and a shout out to my upcoming talk at Canzine West!

Friends in the face of Facebook_1286712668152


Hal’s Failed Facebook Party Article in The New York Times

Here’s the article I wrote for the New York Times Magazine about my Failed Facebook party. Sad? So so so sad. I expand quite a bit on why people didn’t come to my party and what that says about social networking and Peep culture in the Peep book.



Peep Talk in St. Louis

I’ll be doing a talk  in St. Louis about the rise of Peep Culture and its implications on privacy, happening May 6th at 7 pm. Location: Schlafly Branch Library, St. Louis, 225 N. Euclid Ave. St. Louis, MO 63108.

This event is free and open to the public.

contact # for more information is 314 206 6779.



Campus Peep Talk: University of Mary Washington (Virginia)

I’ll be doing a talk about the rise of Peep Culture on the 
campus of University of Mary Washington which is in Richmond, 
The talk is free and open the public and will be held at 7:30 pm, 
Wed., March 31, in Jepson 100 on the campus of the University of
 Mary Washington.
"From Pop to Peep: How We’re Learning to Love
 Watching Ourselves and our Neighbors 
(in the age of reality television, Facebook,
 YouTube, Twitter and so much more!)," 
by Hal Niedzviecki,author of “The Peep Diaries: 
How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves 
and Our Neighbors”; sponsored by the departments
 of psychology, sociology and anthropology, and 
computer science, and CARC; Jepson Hall, Room 100; 
7:30 p.m.; free; (540) 654-1559.

Cyberviolence on Youth Conference

I will be the keynote speaker and also be presenting a workshop at the Every Victim Matters: Understanding the Impact of CyberViolence on Youth Conference in April.

It’s being put on by the Saffron Centre, which offers therapy and assessment for young people dealing with all kinds of mental health issues.

For my keynote, I’ll be talking about Peep Culture and its potential relationship to cyberbullying. I’ll look at how easy it is for us to depersonalize other human beings in the course of using their lives for our entertainment, and how teens are particularly susceptible to becoming victims in the age of Peep.

For my workshop, I’ll explore strategies that I’ve used to introduce pop culture to young people and get them to think critically about how pop culture works and how they can ‘take back’ pop culture to make positive changes in their live and communities.

  • Teaching Kids to Take Back Pop Culture: Many ideas about violence, sexuality, bullying, and body image emerge from a mainstream pop culture that is all too pervasive in our society. In this workshop, based on his award-winning book The Big Book of DIY Pop Culture: A How To Guide for Young Artists, Hal Niedzviecki will explain the importance of teaching students to think critically about pop culture. He will take participants through the kinds of presentations he’s done with young people over the years and share his best techniques to initiate a discussion about pop culture. Hal will explore how workshops on pop culture for young people can address myriad social issues and have a lasting impact on young people thereby gaining a better understanding of the media environment they live in, and how they can use the mass media to create compelling, truthful and important representations of everyday life in their communities. Presenter: Hal Niedzviecki, Author - Thursday




Hal live today on Wisconsin Public Radio

Here’s the archive audio file of me discussing Peep Culture and taking calls on Wisconsin Public Radio. 




Final Peep Event For 2009

My final Peep event! It’s in Peterborough, Ontario as part of the great Cooked and Eaten Reading Series.

Here are the details.

Are We Not Peep?: an examination of the new transparency

With: author Hal Niedzviecki, Professor Alison Hearn and web developer, Glenn Eve

Thursday, December 10th, 2009, 7pm
Artspace, 378 Aylmer St., North
Tickets: $8 at the door

Hal will be giving a multimedia presentation about the book which will be followed by what I expect to be a lively panel discussion including Hal, Professor Alison Hearn and web developer, Glenn Eve. Questions will centre around how this new culture is changing our world.

Hal NiedzvieckiHal Niedzviecki’s writing has appeared in newspapers, periodicals across North America including The New York Times Magazine, Playboy, Adbusters, the Utne Reader, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, Toronto Life, Walrus, and Geist. He is the author of many books including most recently The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves and Our Neighbors.

Professor Alison HearnAlison Hearn is a Research Associate at the Centre for Policy Research in Science and Technology at Simon Fraser University focusing on visual and tele-visual theory and culture, media art activism, and on the university as a cultural and political site. She is currently working on a book about reality television entitled Real Incorporated: Explorations in reality television and contemporary visual culture.

Glenn EveGlenn Eve has spent the last 30 years designing software applications for national and multinational organizations. He has also spent way too much time pulling projects back from the flaming abyss. His new venture, purpledog Digital, creates web based interactive story telling tools for small businesses who simply need to get the job done.


More Readings and Info at


The Book: The Peep Diaries

The Peep Diaries will be Published by City Lights Books in May 2009
ISBN 1991022

Buy The Peep Diaries Right Now:
In the United States:
In Canada: Chapters/Indigo Amazon:


The Publisher: City Lights

City Lights Books

City Lights Publishers

In June of 1955, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, co-founder of City Lights Bookstore, launched City Lights Publications with the Pocket Poets Series. The first volume was a collection of his own poems, Pictures of the Gone World, which has since become a classic of beat literature and… more...


Author! Author!

Hal Niedzviecki is a writer, culture commentator and editor whose work challenges preconceptions and confronts readers with the offenses of everyday life. He is the author of six books including the novel The Program and the nonfiction book The Peep Diaries: How We’re Learning to Love Watching Ourselves… more...