Archive for the ‘surveillance’ Category

Roland Emmerich. He’s the big-budget director of “Independence Day,” “Universal Soldier” and “Eight-Legged Freaks.” I came across an article on Emmerich and his design aesthetic in the New York Times’ August 7, 2008 Home section.

The Times devoted two whole pages and thirteen photos to the redesign of Emmerich’s townhouse in the “buttoned-up” Knightsbridge section of London. Apparently he redesigned the place primarily to shock his neighbors. It’s not a townhouse anymore; it’s a fun house of cultural and pop-cultural references: Mao Tse-Tung, Pope John Paul II, pseudo Renaissance paintings, Barbie dolls and Philippe Starck chairs… If it shocks the neighbors, he’s happy. Whatever…

But what about the miniaturized diorama tables in the living room? The ones that Emmerich commissioned from his movie prop department. The ones that depict, in the Times’ words, “notorious events”? (more…)

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In my recent post on American artists who work small scale, I forgot to mention photographer David Levinthal. He works with small-scale figures (often toys), but the final artifact is usually a 20 x 24 inch Polaroid. Polaroid film has a particularly malleable and atmospheric quality that’s magnified when using a macro lens in combination with a shallow depth of field. The effect is cinematic.

Levinthal takes as his subject the myths that preoccupy America and the West. His series titles say it all: Modern Romance, American Beauties, The Wild West, Barbie, Baseball. His minstrel series (Blackface), his re-imagining of the Holocaust (Mein Kampf) and his WWII “documentary” war images (Hitler Moves East, co-created with Garry Trudeau) have been controversial, though critically acclaimed. (more…)

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The Internet is information — your information, my information — everyone’s information. Remember the regrettable words emailed to your sister four years ago? They’re still in cyberspace, along with the resumé you posted on Monster.com, your mortgage applications, the searches you did on “prostate cancer,” the old Facebook photos, your tax returns, buying habits and medical records. Your information floats around in the digital ether, like snow in a snow globe, until someone (corporations, retailers, health insurers, employers, lenders) shakes it into data-drifts that reveal who you are, what you buy, what you dream. The border between the private and pubic has been breached, big time. (more…)

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Take a ride on the elevator at elevatormoods.com, a project created by Andrew Naham and friends. It features elevator dramas filmed from the surveillance camera’s point of view. One might call it, “theater in the square”! Click the web site’s floor buttons to watch clips of mini dramas that only make sense within the claustrophobic and peculiarly private-public environment of the elevator.

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