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Suicide Box
Bureau of Inverse Technology, United States
Suicide Box, 1997
Videotape and motion-activated camera
Selected by: Gregor Muir
The Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT) is an international bureaucracy, an information agency servicing the information age. It produces product, information, packaging, marketing, and technological commentary.

The Suicide Box was a motion detection video system installed to capture vertical activity in range of the Golden Gate Bridge, California, in 1996. The unit was composed of a BIT camera, a motion capture card, digital equipment, and utility concealment casing. The system efficacy: The Suicide Box system supplied a public, frame-accurate date of a social phenomenon not previously and accurately quantified. The box placement determined to exploit cultural climate and the BIT agent proximity–San Francisco is a gateway to the Silicon Valley and both the information capital and suicide capital of the United States.

The Suicide Box project was initially designed to gather data which would then be compared to the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The idea was that fluctuations in the suicide rate found at the Golden Gate Bridge were impacted by statistics relating to the nation’s morale and subsequent fluctuations in the financial markets. BIT–with their adopted FBI-styled anonymity and data agency-speak–described the so-called “Despondency Index” as being “developed by the Bureau to dynamically index Suicide data to Dow Jones Industrial on each bridge occurrence.”
Bureau of Inverse Technology
Engineer@bureauit.org