Monitor: Surveillance, Data, and the New Panoptic

On View from October 1 – December 10, 2021
Exhibition Opening: 
Friday, October 1, 5–8pm
Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art & Design
ICA Gallery hours:
Wed–Sun, 11:00am–5:00pm, Thursday, 11:00am–7:00pm

Surveillance has become an inescapable part of daily life. Our phones record our every movement, call, and contact; cameras record our passage along the street. Collected data streams to fusion centers, and predictive policing targets specific communities for more intensive monitoring. Siri and Alexa listen in. Connected to the economy and mass surveillance, from the high-tech to the low-tech and the mundane everyday, how are artists looking back at, contesting, and revealing the systems that monitor our daily lives? Monitor: Surveillance, Data, and the New Panoptic explores the ways in which our lives are being influenced and determined by visible and invisible actions of “watching over”, allowing viewers to reflect on the prevalence of surveillance in contemporary contexts as well as its historical antecedents. Artists in the exhibition include: Christoper Gregory-Rivera, Margaret Laurena Kemp + Abram Stern, Yazan Khalili, Kapwani Kiwanga, Ann Messner, Orphan Drift, Trevor Paglen.

Monitor: Surveillance, Data, and the New Panoptic is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional generous support for the exhibition is provided by Jeremy Moser and Laura Kittle. The exhibition is organized by Julie Poitras Santos, Director of Exhibitions, ICA at MECA&D, in conversation with Sophie Hamacher, Assistant Professor of Academic Studies at Maine College of Art & Design, and Brendan McQuade, Assistant Professor of Criminology at University of Southern Maine. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by visiting artist talks, a panel discussion, and a film series organized by Sophie Hamacher. See event details below.

Monitor: Surveillance, Data, and the New Panoptic is part of Freedom & Captivity, a statewide, coalition-based public humanities initiative to explore and promote abolitionist visions and organizing in Maine during fall 2021.

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Exhibition Catalog

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Events and Visiting Artist Talks

Thursday, October 21, 6–7:30PM [virtual]
PANEL DISCUSSION: Maine College of Art & Design - “Transforming Surveillance” 
Artists in the exhibition discuss their work with Brendan McQuade, author of Pacifying the Homeland: Intelligence Fusion and Mass Supervision.

Click Here to Watch a Recording of the Discussion

Thursday, November 4, 12–1PM [virtual]
VISITING ARTIST TALK: Maine College of Art & Design - Yazan Khalili

Thursday, December 2, 12–1PM [virtual]
VISITING ARTIST TALK: Maine College of Art & Design - American Artist

Thursday, December 9, 6PM [in person]
FILM: ICA at MECA&D - Sentenced by Sound 
A curated evening of short films presented in conjunction with Monitor: Surveillance, Data, and the New Panoptic, an exhibition in the ICA at MECA&D.

MONITOR film series, curated by Sophie Hamacher

Friday, October 8, 7PM
FILM: Congress Square -
 Oversight Machines (66min.)
An evening of short films presented in collaboration with Congress Square Park curated by Sophie Hamacher.

Find, Fix, Finish by Sylvain Cruiziat & Mila Zhluktenko, 2017 
Watching the Detectives by Chris Kennedy, 2017  
ALGO Rhythm by Manu Luksch, 2019

Learn More

Thursday, October 14, 2–4PM
FILM: Portland Museum of Art - Screening of All Light, Everywhere
Screening of All Light, Everywhere, 2021, a film by Theo Anthony, in collaboration with the Portland Museum of Art.

An exploration of the shared histories of cameras, weapons, policing and justice. As surveillance technologies become a fixture in everyday life, this film interrogates the complexity of an objective point of view, probing the biases inherent in both human perception and the lens.

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Thursday, October 28, 7PM
FILM: Space Gallery -
 Modes of Enclosure (71min.)
An evening of short films presented in collaboration with Space Gallery curated by Sophie Hamacher.
It's the Game '17 by Sondra Perry, 2018
Dear Bill Gates by Sarah Christman, 2006 
The FBI Blew up my Ice Skates by Sara Ebrahimi and Lindsey Martin, 2016
Mapping CCTV by Manu Luksch, 2008
Evidence of the Evidence by Alexander Johnston, 2017
One Document for Hope by Margaret Rorison, 2015 

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Thursday, November 11, 7PM
FILM: Space Gallery -
 Cross Examinations (60min)
An evening of short films presented in collaboration with Space Gallery curated by Sophie Hamacher.

Prison Images by Harun Farocki, 2000  (60 min)

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Thursday, December 9, 6PM
FILM:  ICA at MECA&D - Sentenced by Sound 
An evening of short films presented in the ICA at MECA&D curated by Sophie Hamacher.

Hacked Circuit by Deborah Stratman, 2014  (15 min)
Walled/Unwalled by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, 2018  (21 min)
Best of Luck with the Wall by Josh Begley, 2016  (7 min)
Border Control by Peggy Ahwesh, 2019  (4 min)
Radfahrer (Cyclist) by Marc Thümmler, 2008  (28 min)
It's a Long Way from Amphioxus by Kamal Aljafari, 2019  (16 min)

Virtual Tour

Featured Image: Orphan Drift, If AI were Cephalopod, 2019. 4 channel video installation (HD) Image courtesy of Laboratoria Art & Science, Moscow