Art + Design

Art Of The Month: Surveillance

By Rio Viera-Newton

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Jonathan Small (Los Angeles, CA/Cooper Union) Handmade book. Collection of self-portraits gathered from over 20 security cameras around Los Angeles. Each page documents a new day and environment in which I am being “caught” under surveillance.

Sam Youkilis (New York, NY/Bard College) This project surveys the globalization of two American companies. It makes foreign and unfamiliar places approachable through the security of the Google street view lens and the complacent familiarity of McDonald’s iconography. The undersaturated colors of google street view images stand in stark contrast to the saturation of its content. This project shows the way Google’s expansion informs our understanding of McDonald’s global growth. This is an ongoing series that will expand in size as google street view coverage improves and will act as a tool to shape our knowledge of McDonald’s globalization.

Nicholas Williams (Allen Park, MI/University of Michigan) I have always been interested in the idea of the human being as art, and the idea of a performed self. No group does this better or with more zeal than Drag Queens. So when I had an opportunity through a grant at school to immerse myself in a culture and document what was happening, my choice was made for me: I was to go to San Francisco during Pride and see if I could figure out Drag. A few months later I stumbled off the BART at 16th and Mission and walked a few blocks up to 18th and Castro. The day was June 28th, PROP 8 had just been struck down and the streets were on fire. It was here I had my first real taste of the spectacle that Drag is. On a surface level, Drag is big, exaggerated, high personality, and in the days of Ru Paul, all about glamour. My stint in San Francisco, and meeting and tagging along with Dulche De Leche allowed me to see a divide; the idea that a man slowly becomes a Queen as they are getting in face, and once they’re in face there is a marked switch that occurs that can really only be captured visually. I soon returned to Ann Arbor, Mich. and began to explore a much smaller Drag scene. It was here I met Andi Drogenous, who aside from working towards a Masters in Social Work also performs and runs a performance series at a local bar. The photos presented are a culmination from two trips and basically speak to what I observed: Drag is 50 percent getting ready, 20 percent performing, and 30 percent being a spectacle in the gay bar. Queens at the level I witnessed all want to be famous, but they are doing drag because it is liberating and fun.

Kyle Smith (Los Angeles, CA/Bard College) With a few clicks, you can turn any search engine into your personal Truman Show, but instead of Jim Carrey, the reality star is everyone that forgot to put a password on their network security camera. These are screenshots taken from publicly accessible surveillance cameras.