Tracked & Traced

The curators had chosen twenty artists who make conceptual art about surveillance. Most of the artworks surveil the visitor in some way. Physical presence and aesthetics are secondary to some of the artworks and irrelevant to the rest. The exhibition needed to be cohesive, comprehensive, structured and immersive — and a dynamic visitor experience. A perfect challenge for Flutter & Wow! We created a surveillance exhibition that makes visitors feel like they’re being watched.

We spoke with all of the participating artists and developed a nuanced understanding of their individual visions. Our work was to mesh these visions into the unified whole conceived of by the curatorial committee.

We laid out dozens of video displays and projectors, computers, speakers, microphones, electromechanical and technical installations throughout four rooms at the MSU Museum. Our layout established a sense of drama and paranoia, but culminated in several artworks that demonstrate means of regaining control over some aspect of systemic surveillance.

Has that photo on your phone really been deleted? Is facial recognition software just and equitable? Who can make and enforce laws that govern your body in the digital world? How does surveillance benefit us as individuals and as a society? Alternatively, what are the inherent harms inflicted upon those being tracked & monitored?

Explore these questions and more in Science Gallery Detroit’s 2021 exhibition, Tracked & Traced. More than 15 works by artists from around the world explore, exploit, and question the myriad ways tracking & tracing affects us all.