May 714, 1998
Interview by Neil Gladstone
What's the best way to sneak into the off-limits sections of buildings?
Sneaking past security into off-limits buildings is incredibly easy, once you learn a few tricks of the trade, like avoiding security cameras and motion detectors, taking the stairs instead of the elevators, using employee walkways. This is amazingly simple in malls, hotels, government institutions, even office towers. Friends and I have been inside closed bank towers at night without getting caught. The best way to avoid security cameras is to have a complete awareness of their presence. If a security guard sees me somewhere I'm not supposed to be, I act confused, check a piece of paper (pretending it is a sheet of directions). If I decide that being spotted has spoiled the mission, I'll just walk over to the guard and ask for directions.
Have you done any exploring in the United States?
I go exploring whenever I travel. I'm afraid to say I didn't find Philadelphia all that conducive to exploration, since the downtown closes rather early and security is fairly good. I didn't get a chance to peruse the Philadelphia subway system but I've heard from others that it contains a lot of interesting stuff.
Are you annoyed by heavy surveillance or do you think it's necessary?
I'm way beyond annoyed about itI'm terrified by it, as I think any rational person should be. I devoted most of issue No. 3 to speaking about the horrors of surveillance, which is both immoral and anti-constitutional in many cases. Electronic surveillance is not necessaryit simply puts the protection everyone should be entitled to in the hands of the rich, and erodes support for increasing public policing and public good will. When I'm just minding my own business walking down the street and suddenly realize some corporation is filming and recording my every move, I shudder.
Does your mom know about Infiltration?
My mom knows I do a zine about exploring buildings, and she's okay with that. She probably doesn't realize I spend my time running through subway tunnels and the like.
Have you ever been caught on any of your escapades?
I am "caught" roughly once a week, but usually just by a janitor or an employee. It's pretty easy to get out of those situations. On one or two occasions I've been spotted by security guards.
Have you ever advised any of your contributors against doing something?
Yes, anything involving lockpicking, breaking and entering, or harmful vandalism. While I admit such stories are often very interesting, I attempt to encourage a very benign sort of exploration in the zine.
Why are you so fascinated by these secret places?
It's the thrill of discovery that fascinates me. Yes, I know I'm not the first person there, but I can honestly say I found it and I earned the experience for myself. After exploring for a while, you get a wonderful feeling that you're "in on" the secret workings of cities. You know what's under your feet and what's behind the closed doors and what the city looks like from the highest office towers, while almost everyone around you only ever looks at the public areas and never truly pays attention to urban structures unless they've paid admission to take a look.
What places would you like to go that you haven't?
There are millionssome of my greatest yearnings are Alcatraz, abandoned stations in the New York subway system (including the abandoned line), the Paris catacombs, the drains under Melbourne, the UCLA steam tunnels, the military tunnels in the California mountains, the Moscow underground. These are all legendary.
What does Ninjalicious mean?
It simply means I have the style and stealth of a ninja without the fighting talent.
Issues of Infiltration can be ordered by sending $2 (U.S. currency) to Infiltration, P.O. Box 66069, Town Centre PO, Pickering, Ontario, L1V 6P7. The address of the online version of Infiltration is www.infiltration.org/theory.htm.