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Profiling

June 8–Sept 9, 2007

Installation view of Profiling (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, June 8–September 9, 2007). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

Installation view of Profiling (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, June 8–September 9, 2007). Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins

Profiling features two artworks that present a dialogue on issues surrounding surveillance, protection, privacy, and identity by exploring the use of automated systems for tracking and “profling” people in public spaces.

The connection between surveillance and entertainment is at the core of SVEN—Surveillance Video Entertainment Network by artists Amy Alexander, Jesse Gilbert, Wojciech Kosma, Vincent Rabaud, and Nikhil Rasiwasia. SVEN uses a computer application to track visitors’ movements through space and to analyze their “rock star potential.” A video-processing application uses the live camera feed to generate music video-like visuals.

In David Rokeby’s surveillance installation Taken, two side-by-side projections provide different readings of the activities in the gallery space. A continuously accumulating history of the movements of people in the gallery is juxtaposed with a “catalogue” of gallery visitors’ headshots that have classifying adjectives, such as “unsuspecting” or “hungry,” randomly attached to them. The projects brought together in Profiling expose the absurdities and subvert the effects of surveillance technologies.