Saturday, May 31 - 5 pm
See Something, Say Something: Strategies of Counter-Surveillance
The Whitney Independent Study Program at THE KITCHEN
with Karen Beckman, Peter Galison, Thomas Y. Levin, and Lin + Lam
moderated by Yates McKee
In conjunction with the exhibition For Reasons of State, guest curators Angelique Campens, Erica Cooke, and Steven Lam will hold a panel discussion on the impact of governmental and corporate secrecy on life in our contemporary society and its manifestations in visual culture. The phrase “See Something, Say Something,” spreads the logic that citizens will benefit from policing each other. This panel, however, extends accountability beyond the gaze of the citizen-spy to also include the state. Who is responsible for withholding and distributing information? What type of information becomes de/classified? How can we take (more) control of our public access to knowledge?
Karen Beckman is the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Associate Professor in the History of Art department at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is also the director of Cinema Studies. She is the author of Vanishing Women: Magic, Film and Feminism (2003), and is co-editor with Jean Ma of Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography (forthcoming 2008). She is currently completing "Little Bastard": Car Crashes, Cinema, and the Politics of Speed and Stasis (also forthcoming), and she is one of the editors of the journal Grey Room.
Peter Galison is the Joseph Pellegrino University Professor of the History of Science and of Physics at Harvard University. He has worked extensively with de-classified material in his studies of physics in the Cold War, including his 2008 film Secrecy (co-directed with Robb Moss). He has also written several books, including his most recent Objectivity (with L. Daston, 2007), contributed to the exhibition catalogue for Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy (2005) and co-curated Iconoclash: Beyond the Image Wars in Science, Religion and Art (2002) at ZKM, Germany.
Thomas Y Levin is a Princeton professor of media and cultural theory who has organized numerous exhibitions and conferences related to his continued research of the aesthetic politics of surveillance. The editor and translator of Siegfried Kracauer's The Mass Ornament, he most recently co-edited a volume of essays by Walter Benjamin entitled The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility and other Writings on Media.
Lin + Lam (Lin plus Lam) produce interdisciplinary projects that examine the ramifications of the past for the current socio-political moment. Informed by documentary and experimental cinema, Lana Lin's films interpret different cultural contexts, raising questions about the politics of translation and the processes of identification. Trained in architecture, H. Lan Thao Lam uses photography, sculpture, and installation to probe the construction of history and lived places. Their collaborative work has been exhibited in international venues including the Museum of Modern Art, NY, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, the China Taipei Film Archive, Creteil International Women's Film Festival, and the London Film Festival, among others.
Yates McKee is a PhD candidate in Art History at Columbia University, and associate editor of Nongovernmental Politics (Zone Books 2007). His work has appeared in venues including October, Grey Room, and the
Journal of Aesthetics and Protest.
"For Reasons of State"
May 16 - June7, 2008
Sat. May 24 2 pm
Sat. June 7 2 pm
Tuesday-Friday 12-6 pm
512 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011
A,C,E to 14th Street (8th Avenue)
L to 8th Avenue (14th Street)
1 to 18th Street (7th Avenue)