$urveillance Gouache and watercolour on paper 56 x 76.5 cm 2016
Surveillance is big business - the collection, storage, evaluating and packaging of data; developing and implementing surveillance systems of all kinds; developing and implementing security systems to thwart surveillance by known or unknown infiltrators; ensuring the delivery of cyber updates for ongoing security...and more.
The use of GPS and communications space assets [satellites] to enable civilian and military surveillance draws attention to the dual-use nature of contemporary technology. Regular readers will know of my interest in airborne drones used by the military for surveillance, targeting and attack purposes. Drone operations currently rely on both GPS and communications satellites. [Check out many of my recent posts for more on drones.]
In this large work on paper I have painted small $ signs to create emanating surveillance signals. I have done this to contest ideas of value. The 'value' flow goes up and down or from one place to another, demonstrating the financial gains delivered to the developers and operators of surveillance technology AND the 'value', to governments, advertisers, the military and others [malign and benign], of the collected data. Technology to collect data is like a 'data harvester' - the harvester collects the 'golden grain'. Yes, I am a farmer's daughter!
The small $ sign-signals could represent proxy rays of 'sunshine' - the new 'sun' in our new 'sky' of surveillance sensors! Yet, they could also represent the perspective of a 'ploughed' field - of data. Or, perhaps 'landing' lights on a 'runway' of data!
The 'play' with perspective is a deliberate ploy - one I employ often in my work. The 'landscape' is undetermined and the viewer's orientation is also. Are you above, below, in front, or all simultaneously?