Couch for the contemplation of surveillance

The Couch for the contemplation of surveillance is a portable site for thinking about surveillance culture. Embodying contemporary American domestic culture and the craft aesthetic of people-who-think-of-themselves as white, this blank-canvas slipcovered perch is (over) pillowed with iconic eyes. The security blanket provided depicts pixelated, woven images of the PRISM slides for a handy reference of exactly how the workflow of national government surveillance functions.

The work is made using a variety of textile techniques (upholstering, radial weaving, internet-ordered Jacquard weaving, flag-makers applique, thrifted indigo boro, and digital prints on silk) all of which offer a lens for the relationship of the labor to the artist, and the hand to the product. The eye pillows depict the artist's own blue eye through references to iconic eye images: the evil eye, the Neighborhood Watch eye, and direct photography.

The artist prays that protective eye images will becomes as cool as owls, boobs, or brightly colored tassels. The artist cautions that surveillance always brings both comfort and discomfort. It matters to whom.


Winter 2016