My wall installation, RGB-123, is currently on view in “Keeping an Eye on Surveillance,” a group show at the Performance Art Institute in San Francisco. PAI describes the exhibition as ‘a comprehensive look at societal surveillance in the post-9/11 world. Over twenty artists, working in media ranging from painting and photography to new media, will explore the ever-growing encroachment of surveillance enabled by technological advances.’
My piece takes aerial surveillance technology for its subject. The artwork consists of a dense panoply of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) silhouettes arranged to float within a circular shape, as if observed through a viewfinder. This ‘lens’ functions both telescopically to view large satellites and microscopically to depict nano-drones.
RGB-123 grew out of my interest in Earth observation technology that helps scientists monitor environmental changes in Antarctica over time. Fittingly, the imagery includes satellites and super-pressure balloons whose remote sensing apparatus define the cutting edge of high altitude research.
My installation also addresses the intriguing field of micro aerial vehicles modeled after winged animals such as bats, hummingbirds and mosquitoes for monitoring human activity outside of Antarctica. My composition represents this wide array of instrumentation, inviting viewers to contemplate the various uses, motives, and consequences of surveillance.
The title RGB-123 makes reference to satellite naming conventions and video color. While the visible sides of my artwork are black, the back sides are red, green and blue, casting RGB shadows on the wall behind them. This ‘video glow’ serves to address the medium while enhancing the dimensionality of the silhouetted UAV collection.
My installation was created with plywood, acrylic paint, and hardware, and measures eight feet in diameter. It is visible from outside street level as well as from inside, and will remain up through October 26.
The Performance Art Institute is at 575 Sutter Street, San Francisco CA . Tel: (415) 501-0575. Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 12-6 PM. Free admission.
Participating artists: Rosa Maria Alfaro, Michael Bartalos, Guillermo Bert, Lisa Blatt, Jim Campbell, Enrique Chagoya, Antonio Cortez, Allan deSouza, Rodney Ewing, Roni Feldman, Sean Fletcher, Angus Forbes, Farley Gwazda, Taraneh Hemami, Brooke Holve, Justin Hoover, Sherry Karver, Scott Kildall, Barbara Kossy, Tony Labat, Mark Leibowitz, Charlie Levin, Jennifer Locke, Kara Maria, Andrew Mezvinsky, Daniel Newman, Nigel Poor, Isabel Reichert, Tim Roseborough, Roberto Rovira, Elizabeth Sher, and Michael Zheng. Curated by Hanna Regev.