Do you ever feel as though you’re being watched? This question may bring to mind “Big Brother” from George Orwell’s classic novel 1984, or perhaps some of the dystopian films or fiction novels of more recent years.
Now, a new group video-installation project produced by UBC Okanagan BFA students offers a local perspective on this theme.
The exhibition Monitor and the artists examine issues of surveillance, specifically when online. It features fourteen videos and video projections that appear on screens mounted throughout the darkened front project space of the Kelowna Art Gallery.
The exhibition’s organizer said “with the emergence of mass surveillance in various countries around the world, along with our own Bill C-51 here in Canada, our freedom of speech and privacy rights as citizens are at risk. Everyday internet users can take all the precautions provided to keep their data private on various social networks, but are still vulnerable to being hacked and stalked, or having their identities stolen.”
The works created by the UBCO students in the show investigate the ethics surrounding government and corporate access to personal data. The video pieces are short – all under 10 minutes in length, including one that clocks in at a brief 52-second loop. The videos range from one that captures the experience of someone venturing into the world of the Darknet online, to another that depicts how companies are able to target and track people’s movements online and uncover a disturbing amount of information about them.
Monitor is on view until April 9 and is free of charge and open to the public.
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located at 1315 Water Street in downtown Kelowna. For more information about current exhibitions, public programming or special events, please visit the Kelowna Art Gallery online at www.kelownaartgallery.com or call 250-762-2226.