BEYOND CONTROL – How surveillance crept into our lives

15 visual artists present works, including video, photography, and sound, on the topic of surveillance. The exhibition comprises diverse visual work exploring different aspects around surveillance and modern technology, intersecting with other topics such as social media relationships, identity and gender.

Andie Riekstina - Ordinary Life: Inner surveillance

Beyond Control © Andie Riekstina - Ordinary Life: Inner surveillance
Being observed is not only an outsider's eye on your skin, but also your own inner perception of what others expect from you. Whether done subconsciously as a defence mechanism or on purpose to gain a more positive response from others, it is an act of self censorship with far reaching consequences. The need to fit in is a natural part of human experience, but the unfortunate lack of emotional intelligence and empathy in others leads to conflicts and aggression that force individuals to hide their true self or to “tone one's character down”.

The world is changing and it is changing rapidly. One of the things that has evolved is the ways in which we are controlled and surveilled. The present day has become closer to a science fiction piece than it is to reality. Through the use of biometric technologies and algorithms our actions, thoughts and appearances are being converted into data – stripping our identity into 1s and 0s. This information is being carefully examined and studied by governments and corporations. The more they know – the further we slip into a state of constant social control.

Netta Mattila

Beyond Control © Netta Mattila

We are beyond control, a group of 15 visual artists with our individual interpretations on surveillance. The exhibition holds over a dozen bodies of work, all exploring different aspects of surveillance. Topics such as artificial intelligence, social media, relationships, identity and gender are all intricately woven together by Eva Maria Ocherbauer. The project invites the audience to reflect upon their own freedom or lack thereof. It is a call to arms to rescue our agency in a time where the future looks exponentially bleak.

Giuseppe D’Addurno - Identity and Face Recognition Eyes, nose and mouth – the main features of our faces are remodeled thanks to a machine-learning tool. The algorithm, based on the environment surrounding the selection, dictates what to substitute the characteristics for. Treated like a natural landscape, the face is torn and novelty is created. In this case it is a computer that blindly takes possession of our Identity through the seizure of our familiar shapes and forms. But we know that machines are just tools controlled by the hands of human beings. We live in a society that keeps on controlling and spying on its members using technologies like advanced face recognition. And now more than ever, we the people, ought to question our own identity, its meaning and its destruction – its theft.

Beyond Control © Giuseppe D’Addurno - Identity and Face Recognition
Eyes, nose and mouth – the main features of our faces are remodeled thanks to a machine-learning tool. The algorithm, based on the environment surrounding the selection, dictates what to substitute the characteristics for. Treated like a natural landscape, the face is torn and novelty is created. In this case it is a computer that blindly takes possession of our Identity through the seizure of our familiar shapes and forms. But we know that machines are just tools controlled by the hands of human beings. We live in a society that keeps on controlling and spying on its members using technologies like advanced face recognition. And now more than ever, we the people, ought to question our own identity, its meaning and its destruction – its theft.

The collective, which includes international artists*, analyzes the issue of surveillance from different angles. Their common goal is to make the viewer think about how much control systems determine our lives, even if we are not aware of it. The different contributions are linked in a common dialogue and stimulate the viewer in many ways. The means used by the artists are diverse and will be combined, from photography to video, soundscaping, drawings and installations of contemporary art, physically leading the viewer into a labyrinth - which the Großer Wasserspeicher as an exhibition venue already very well suggests.

Sara Queirolo - Autotrack Emerging biometric technologies, such as facial recognition, are advancing rapidly and are silently layered into the fabric of everyday life. For instance, Amazon Go stores monitor everything that moves within the supermarket and use the data collected to track consumer behaviours. As Huxley had predicted in his “Brave New World”, repressive methods are preferred to be accompanied by “sweet” manipulations, aimed at making citizens believe they are free to choose. When instead all their decisions are taken and guided from above. When does technological surveillance, thanks to increasingly sophisticated propaganda techniques, become the means of invisible, permanent and widespread social control? When will human identity be reduced to only a set of biometric data?

Beyond Control © Sara Queirolo - Autotrack
Emerging biometric technologies, such as facial recognition, are advancing rapidly and are silently layered into the fabric of everyday life. For instance, Amazon Go stores monitor everything that moves within the supermarket and use the data collected to track consumer behaviours.
As Huxley had predicted in his “Brave New World”, repressive methods are preferred to be accompanied by “sweet” manipulations, aimed at making citizens believe they are free to choose. When instead all their decisions are taken and guided from above. When does technological surveillance, thanks to increasingly sophisticated propaganda techniques, become the means of invisible, permanent and widespread social control? When will human identity be reduced to only a set of biometric data?

BEYOND CONTROL - How surveillance crept into our lives
Exhibition at Großer Wasserspeicher, Belforter Straße, 10405 Berlin

July 14 to July 17, 2022
Opening on July 14, 2022, 18:00 - 22:00

ARTISTS*
Andie Riekstina, Avery Edelman, Edward Nurton, Frauke Decoodt, Gabriel Ross- Pelat, Giuseppe D’Addurno, Jehan Sheikh, Juliane Röthig, Lisa Martini, Maren Marie Søndergaard, Maria Martí, Netta Mattila, Rebecca Hernández Gomis, Roberto Cicala, Sara Queirolo
DIRECTION: Eva Maria Ocherbauer

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