featuring Tomas van Houtryve
April 3 – 25, 2014
Opening reception Thursday, April 3, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Artist Talk Friday, April 4, 7:00 pm
Made in New York Media Center
30 John Street, Brooklyn, NY
How are we being watched and by whom? How does constant surveillance change the way we live? This cross media show presents a selection of art made in response to the phenomenon of surveillance.
Surveillance.01-USA exhibits, side by side, works by interdisciplinary artists and investigative journalists who are appropriating and analyzing the tools of surveillance—drone, screen, and camera including Blue Sky Days by Tomas Van Houtryve, Tracking Transience by Hasan Elahi, NSA Files: Decoded by Ewen MacAskill and Gabriel Dance / The Guardian US, Satellite Landscapes by Jenny Odell, Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Data visualization of the US drone strikes by Wesley Grubbs / Pitch Interactive, and Emotional Arcade by Brent Hoff.
About BLUE SKY DAYS
In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her house. At a briefing held in 2013 in Washington, DC, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of five lawmakers. “I no longer love blue skies,” said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. “In fact, I now prefer gray skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are gray.”
Over the past decade, drones have become the preferred weapon of the United States military and the CIA for strikes overseas. Their use for surveillance and commercial purposes is also rapidly expanding at home and abroad.
Tomas van Houtryve attached his camera to a small drone and travelled across America to photograph the very sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for foreign air strikes—weddings, funerals, groups of people praying or exercising. He also flew his camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields, industrial feedlots, and stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border. The images captured from the drone’s perspective engage with the changing nature of war, privacy, and government transparency.