On Watch

02/10/2012 - 03/31/2012
On Watch

The present culture of surveillance is an outcome of new technologies, social media networks, unprecedented access to information, an increased willingness on the part of individuals to share personal information, global security concerns and a deep desire to feel safe.

On Watch features five artists and a pioneering project team of human-rights activists whose works explore the presence of surveillance strategies in contemporary art and culture and the disappearing divide between private and public life.

The artists depict and deploy a range of historic and technologically advanced methods used to observe, share and archive information about others and oneself, including architecture, investigative research, aerial surveillance, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), sousveillance and social media.

While surveillance may result in conditions that create information access and sharing, convenience, a sense of safety and direction and evidential proof of innocence or guilt, its reality demands our participation as we watch and as we are watched by others who wish to know who we are, how we live, what we buy and where we go.

Artists in the exhibition included: Jananne Al-Ani (Born Kirkuk, Iraq, 1966; lives in London), Taysir Batniji (Born Palestine, 1966; lives in Paris), Hasan Elahi (American, born Bangladesh, 1972; lives in Maryland), Mark Lombardi (American, 1951-2000), Nicolas Provost (Belgian, born 1969), and Ushahidi (Founded Kenya, 2007).

This exhibition was generously supported by the H&R Block Foundation, the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and private contributions.


The Pitch

Three very different projects look for art—and issues—in unexpected places
March 27, 2012
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The Kansas City Star

H&R Block Artspace exhibit keeps an eye on the crowd
March 9, 2012
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KCPT—The Local Show

Big Brother is Watching: The Local Show visits On Watch
at H&R Block Artspace
February 23, 2012

Press Release

On Watch opens at H&R Block Artspace at KCAI
January 27, 2012
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