Scientific Narration: Public-key encryption

In the last two decades, the dependence on computers in our life has increased rapidly—and so has the necessity to ensure their security. However, the inner workings of computer security are often taken for granted. This activated me to build a proof-of-concept for an installation that reveals the fundamental principle of a method called public-key cryptography—more specifically RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman) as first published in 1978. The goal of this installation is to arouse attention to some of the mechanisms that take place in the background of our digital communication as well as convey understanding of what it means to encrypt/decrypt visible information like an image. The participant can explore cryptography in a novel and interesting way and gain understanding of how public-key encryption and decryption works. The target audience is anyone from young to old, who frequently uses a computer.