Watched! Surveillance, Art and Photography
– 23 April 2017
Whether it’s video cameras in banks or department stores and in public places, state data retention, or cookies on the Internet: monitoring and big data have long since become a big social issue. Our existence leaves behind traces and is being photographed and visualised to an unprecedented degree. This raises new questions about voluntary and involuntary visibility, as well as questions about observing and being observed. With a special focus on photography and the visual media, the exhibition focuses on the complex contexts of modern surveillance, from technologies used by authorities and governments to everyday surveillance practices. The work of the approximately 20 international artists focuses on the question of how contemporary art and media theory can contribute to a better understanding of our modern surveillance society. The approaches range from young artistic positions for example Julian Röder, to the work of internationally renowned artists such as Hito Steyerl, Trevor Paglen, and Ai Weiwei.
The exhibition includes a wide range of techniques, such as video surveillance, facial recognition, Google Street View, digital self-assessment, and virtual animation. The exhibits call into question the need for security that serves as an argument for increasing monitoring. The exhibition rooms of the Amerika Haus are open daily from 11 am to 8 pm.