Surveillance in Art

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PublisherMomus2018
Two art and technology critics, Nora Khan and Mike Pepi, discuss pushing for a rigorous critical discourse in a creative field that can flatten evaluative distinctions in favor of zealotry for invention. “Criticism of a tool that’s presented as neutral when it really is a piece of social engineering is incredibly hard to do, and there really isn’t a model for criticism in this space,” says Khan. In this far-ranging discussion that touches on the critical distance and yet humanism required of writing on the internet, surveillance, and AI, Khan and Pepi assert that tools aren’t divorced from their makers, ...
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PublisherLink Editions2013
Best of Rhizome 2012 is a selection of texts published on the editorial platform of Rhizome along 2012. Edited by Joanne McNeil, the book is, in the words of Rhizome’s Executive Director Heather Corcoran, “not just a best of Rhizome’s work, but a portrait of the year that we hope will gain significance over time for its contextualization and articulation of artists’ practices. Artists are predictors and barometers of change, and sensitive to their cultural surroundings. From texts on production in the digital age, to the influence of the Occupy Movement, from drones and surveillance, to online vernacular – these ...
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How did the internet go from the utopian free-for-all, open source heaven, libertarian last frontier to the current state of permanent surveillance, exhibitionism and paranoia? This duplicity is the underlying thread that links the artists, activists, and researchers in The Black Chamber, an exhibition, a symposium, an urban intervention and a publication. The Black Chamber aims at discussing the delicate and often awkward role of art and imagination in the age of mass surveillance, stressing the multiple connections between post-studio art and independent research, grassroots reverse engineering, and new forms of political activism in the age of networks. Not just an exhibition ...
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PublisherK. Verlag2014
Camouflage of Large Installations by Charles Stankievech is a rare World War II handbook created by the British Government as a guide for factory owners to implement the then new theories of camouflage in order to protect industrial assets. The handbook is composed of three sections: instructional, advertising by corporations supplying camouflage services and full-page colour swatches. The full-page color swatches are particularly beautiful and when viewed aesthetically are interesting forerunners to the history of monochromes, specifically Yves Klein’s first artwork Peintures (1954): a small portfolio booklet that presents a series of monochromes. Interestingly, Klein had never made these paintings and the ...
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Dark Data presents the work of six artists who explore pervasive forms of data collection, mass-surveillance, and hypervisibility visited upon Black life through technologies of predictive policing, data-mining, algorithmic violence, and artificial intelligence. The project situates these emergent data technologies within a broader lineage of anti-Black surveillance and quantification. Dark Data highlights a host of artistic and social tactics exercised by Black practitioners to actively respond to these conditions through experimental archival strategies, inventive modes of technological encryption, and gestures of digital worldmaking. The term “dark data” refers to information assets that are collected and stored by corporations and governments but ...
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PublisherAutonomedia2009
‘Today we are facing extreme and most dangerous developments in the thought of security. In the course of a gradual neutralisation of politics and the progressive surrender of traditional tasks of the state, security imposes itself as the basic principle of state activity. What used to be one among several decisive measures of public administration until the first half of the twentieth century, now becomes the sole criterion of political legitimation. The thought of security entails an essential risk. A state which has security as its sole task and source of legitimacy is a fragile organism; it can always be ...
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Domenico Quaranta, art curator and critic, writes about the 2004 project Evidence Locker by Jill Magid, now part of the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of New York. Jill Magid is a visual artist who has focused her work since the beginning (the end of the 90s) on surveillance infrastructures and the relationship between observers and the observed. In Evidence Locker, she has built an epistolary romantic relationship with the City Watch System of Liverpool – the largest video surveillance system in all of Britain – bringing into being a story in which love and seduction become tools for ...
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PublisherICA2009
This book has been produced to accompany the ICA exhibition Double Agent, an exhibition of collaborative projects in which the artists use other people as a medium. All of the works raise questions of performance and authorship, and in particular the issues of ethics and representation that ensue when the artist is no longer the central agent in his or her own work, but operates through a range of individuals, communities, and surrogates. One of the starting points for the exhibition was the recent and conspicuous rise of interest in performance and performative gestures among contemporary artists. But today’s generation of artists, unlike their precursors ...
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PublisherBook Two2013
Drones – unmanned aerial vehicles – are becoming ubiquitous, yet remain almost invisible. This is a guide to drawing them.
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Publishere-flux2011
Let’s be clear about something: it is infuriating that most interesting artists are perfectly capable of functioning in at least two or three professions that are, unlike that of art, respected by society in terms of compensation and general usefulness. And compensation—which is money—is not only for feeding lavish lifestyles or taking spontaneous beach vacations. Ask anyone who has children or sick relatives in a country without good health care—which could by now be almost any country, as the administration of life is deferred more and more to the private sphere of personal finance. This only makes the question of ...
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Publishere-flux2012
It is hard to avoid the feeling these days that the future is behind us. It’s not so much that time has stopped, but rather that the sense of promise and purpose that once drove historical progress has become impossible to sustain. On the one hand, the faith in modernist, nationalist, or universalist utopias continues to retreat, while on the other, a more immediate crisis of faith has accompanied the widespread sense of diminishing economic prospects felt in so many places. Not to mention the ascension of populist and sectarian orders that now mire many of the popular revolutions of ...

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