'POST-SURVEILLANCE ART POSTER/NSA ON DRUGS' (2014), Suzanne Treister. Courtesy the artist, Annely Juda Fine Art, London and P.P.O.W., New York

Acting Out Nottingham 2015
Post-Surveillance Art
Suzanne Treister 

PREVIEW: Thursday 9 April, 18:00–20:00
EXHIBITION: 10 April–9 May 
OPENING TIMES: Thursday–Saturday, 12:00–18:00, or by appointment.

Suzanne Treister’s Post-Surveillance Art is a brazen, colourful and psychedelic comment on our post-Edward Snowden reality. This exhibition takes contemporary surveillance culture as a given and attempts to represent what this culture looks like, its imagery, its vocabulary, its aspirations and its potential futures. Reflecting a post-surveillance mindset, the work plays with the imagery of organisations that store all our data, such as NSA and GCHQ and suggests future hypothetical social states of being and awareness. The posters are ambiguous in their political position, with their vivid colours, computerised graphics and bold proclamations representing ‘a kind of hallucinogenic drug induced visionary landscape, a kind of pop poetry’ for our post-surveillance age.

Since the late 1980s Treister’s work has explored new developments and histories of technology, investigating structures of power, both visible and hidden. Through her revelations Treister allows us to re-act to these systems of knowledge and assumptions of truths.

“What has changed for me personally, post-Snowden, is not a new awareness and negotiation of a changed condition, but the knowledge that now almost everybody else knows something which was clear as day, if you did a bit of research, and it’s great to no longer be called a conspiracy theorist. In reaction to this state of affairs, I have started a new art project/movement called “Post-Surveillance Art”, within which I can make works in the knowledge that their background context may now be accessible to a broader audience, even a mainstream art world audience. Most of the art mainstream took little notice of the early issues of net politics, net art and all of that parallel, mostly invisible and often misrepresented art and theoretical history of the 1990s ‘new media’ scene, and many are now seeing internet related art as if for the first time in the form of the new largely apolitical and market-driven so-called, “Post-Internet Art” movement. As with my first internet project of 1995, I am sharing the work with anyone who wants to download it and offering large files to anyone who emails me. “Sharing” does not have to mean giving all your personal data to government security agencies via online social media for free.”

Suzanne Treister, January 2014

The exhibition is curated by PSY – Acting Out Nottingham with Primary, and funded by Art Council England and the University of the Arts London.

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