Art Culture Criticism Interactive / Participatory Art Performance and Conceptual

Keeping an Eye on Surveillance

Isn’t it funny walking into an elevator and everyone takes out their mobile phone and starts tinkering around with it? Pretending they have a message or playing Words with Friends. Or, even funnier, how I throw up the middle finger when someone I held the elevator door for completely blanks me and just blurts out, “3rd floor”, like I’m the mutherlovin’ elevator attendant. Hmph!!! Often times, I forget that there’s someone watching me. Imagine all of your actions captured on film, recorded, and archived. I should stop making nasty faces and throwing up my digitus medius when certain people leave the elevator but I highly doubt it. All of the times my Mom said I better watch the facial expressions I make because my face might stay that way, well, to a certain extent, she wasn’t lying. My face will stay that way (on film). Scary thought, eh?

Surveillance has been a topic I’ve covered in earlier posts but I’m bringing it up (once again) due to group exhibition opening, Keeping an Eye on Surveillance, Saturday, September 10th at the Performance Art Institute of San Francisco. The show is a provocative look at surveillance post 9/11 world through a wide array of artist perspectives. From visual to performative, the show will have you looking at your mobile device and everyday surroundings (even the restroom) with a keen and scrutinizing eye.

The Artists Showing are:

To learn more about the event, please click here.

By Dorothy R. Santos

Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, artist, and educator whose academic and research interests include feminist media histories, critical medical anthropology, technology, race, and ethics. She is a Ph.D. student in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow. She received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts and holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Her work as been exhibited at Ars Electronica, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and the GLBT Historical Society.

Her writing appears in art21, Art in America, Ars Technica, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is a co-founder of REFRESH, a politically-engaged art and curatorial collective and serves as the Executive Director for the Processing Foundation.

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