Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jill Magid, Artist Presentation


Jill Magid = www.jillmagid.net 
by Jarrett E.
Although this week's class is not explicitly on surveillance, this is an artist who's work gets to the heart of many techno-science issues.
Spend some time on her website, particularly with the pieces Evidence Locker, System Azure, Lobby 7, and Surveillance shoe (in that order.)
She spoke in the Visiting Artist Lecture series last semester, which is available in the library. 
I am interested especially in the way she employs imaging technology, explicitly associated with regulation by either a state or institution as a means of fostering interpersonal connection.
Evidence Locker is described on her website: In 2004, Jill spent 31 days in Liverpool, during which time she developed a close relationship with Citywatch (Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council), whose function is citywide video surveillance- the largest system of its kind in England. 
The videos in her Evidence Locker were staged and edited by the artist and filmed by the police using the public surveillance cameras in the city centre. Wearing a bright red trench coat she would call the police on duty with details of where she was and ask them to film her in particular poses, places or even guide her through the city with her eyes closed, as seen in the video Trust.  Unless requested as evidence, CCTV footage obtained from the system is stored for 31 days before being erased. For access to this footage, Magid had to submit 31 Subject Access Request Forms - the legal document necessary to outline to the police details of how and when an 'incident' occurred. Magid chose to complete these forms as though they were letters to a lover, expressing how she was feeling and what she was thinking. These letters form the diary One Cycle of Memory in the City of L- an intimate portrait of the relationship between herself, the police and the city.
The project website is EvidenceLocker.net

Also, her early work KISSMASK, which brings to mind our issue of "Privacy" versus "Secrecy" and how those two things are reflected in institutional architecture (the intimacy of the mask, versus the MIT lobby of LOBBY 7, and finally the Liverpool streets.)

In a related note, to her piece System Azure, the current display window of Louis Vuitton make a terrible and unwitting similar correlation between fashion, sexuality, and surveillance.  

Look forward to the discussion in class.

J

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