You shouldn’t expect the Esther Klein Gallery to offer a run-of-the-mill art exhibit.
After all, ever since we’ve been talking about the gallery, it’s been an intersection of geekdom and artistry. In 2010 we saw them take on augmented reality. A couple of years ago they hosted the now-defunct Dept. of Making + Doing’s first ever exhibit and sale. Just last spring they put some pretty creepy — yet beautiful — specimens up for display.
And just last Thursday, the gallery inaugurated an exhibit called Surveillance: An Exhibition of Work on the Observation, Recording, and Storage of Human Activity, hosted by artists Daniel Newman and Keith Hartwig. The show turns the artistic eye to the constant monitoring of life through sculpture, projections and audiovisual installations. (Timely much?)
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According to the artists, the exhibit explores why society has naturalized the act of surveillance, and why the collective gives consent to be constantly monitored through technology.
There’s also a public component to the art installation in the form of a drone workshop, which will take place in the Gallery Aug. 27 from 1-3 p.m. Attendees will download the materials needed to construct replicas of surveillance vehicles (yes, drones) currently in use by the U.S. government.
“Participants are encouraged to customize their drones, crafting opinions and creating stories on issues revolving around the use of mobile surveillance,” the event invite reads.
Hartwig is a master’s candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and an adjunct professor of architecture and visual studies at the Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Newman is an associate architect and a designer of buildings, objects and media, with a practice based in Philadelphia and New York City.