Curatorial Practice
Back to Features

Ian Chen

February 19, 2018
Header image%281024x300%29

Eye in the Sky

March 10 - April 1, 2018
Reception March 10, 2018, 3PM - 5PM
Gallery Hours: Friday - Saturday, 11am -3pm;
Private viewing session: Sunday 1pm - 3pm, and by appointment

*Email to sign up for private viewing session schedule and appointment
*entrance located in Graffiti Alley off of N. Howard St.
*visitors will need to text or call 929-208-9766 to enter the exhibition Graffiti Warehouse, Studio 6 128 W North Ave. Baltimore, MD

Upcoming Station North art exhibition amplifies issues relating to surveillance and privacy.

Baltimore, MD—Eye in the Sky is an exhibition examining surveillance and privacy issues in the 21st century and will be on view from Saturday, March 10th to Sunday, April 1st at Graffiti Warehouse (128 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201). The opening reception will be held on March 10th, from 3:00-5:00pm.

The robust growth of surveillance erodes privacy, but most people remain unaware of its pervasiveness. “We are situated in an era of technology,” says curator Ian Chen, an MFA candidate in Maryland Institute College of Art's Curatorial Practice program. “It allows people to receive an abundance of information quickly. However, most people do not even notice that the convenience of the internet increases their risk of being monitored. It is an ongoing issue, but it happens everyday in our daily lives”

Eye in the Sky’s diverse group of artists use new media and technology to alter the viewer's perception and refract the panoptic gaze. Hasan Elahi (USA), a surveillance target himself, creates complex, multidisciplinary works exploring the relationship between privacy and personal data. After learning that he was being monitored, Elahi embarked on a voluntary project of self-surveillance in an attempt to clear himself. “Basically, I share everything about myself,” says Elahi, who notes he also maintains “an incredibly private life.” Chuxi Guo (China) combines new media, participatory components, and sculpture to create his interactive installations. Guo critiques the political aspects of Chinese surveillance as part of a new generation of artists who are unpacking their socio-political landscape. Guo believes that, though we are all being surveilled by an authority, we can still aim at securing a level of privacy in our thoughts and internal lives. Joana Moll (Spain) explores the ethics of surveillance and legitimacy. Moll combines research, media, and interactivity into her work and reverses the roles of the observer and the observed. This experience allows the audience to question the legitimacy of surveillance. Eye in the Sky merges the selected artworks, exhibition design, and the exhibition space as one in order to provide a sensory experience to the audience.

Eye in the Sky will be on view at Graffiti Warehouse, which offers a non-traditional space for artistic creations and exhibitions. Graffiti Warehouse is one of Baltimore’s hidden gems, and visitors need to explore a bit in order to access the space. The gallery is located in Graffiti Alley (off N. Howard Street near North Avenue) and open Friday through Saturday from 11am - 3pm and private viewing session: Sunday 1pm - 3pm, and by appointment. After arriving, visitors should text or call 929-208-9766 for admission.​ Email to sign up for private viewing sessions’ schedule and appointment.


About the Artists:

Hasan Elahi (USA) is an artist whose work examines issues of surveillance, citizenship, migration, transport, and the challenges of borders and frontiers. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions at venues such as SITE Santa Fe, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sundance Film Festival, and at the Venice Biennale. His work is frequently in the media and has been covered by outlets such as The New York Times, Wired, and Fox News.

Chuxi Guo (China) is a multidisciplinary artist who mainly focuses on the political aspects of surveillance and technology. He comes from a country that exerts strict control over the internet and what its citizens can view as well as uses the internet to control political speech and protect the regime's power. His work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including Rural Investigation at CAFA Gallery (Beijing, China), White Lies at SpaceCamp (Baltimore, USA), and Documented at the Leidy Gallery (Baltimore, USA).

Joana Moll (Spain) is an artist and a researcher. Her work critically explores the way post-capitalist narratives affect the alphabetization of machines, humans and ecosystems. Her main research topics include internet materiality, surveillance, online tracking, social profiling and interfaces. She lectures, performs, and exhibits frequently. Recent exhibitions and conferences include the 57th Venice Biennale, Radical Networks (NYC), and the Computer Art Conference (Paris, France).


About the Curator:

Ian Chen, born in Taiwan, is interested in the interactions between space, color, and people, and their relationship to curatorial practice. Chen’s practice incorporates a range of disciplines, including graphic and interior design. Previously, Chen served in the Taiwanese military and worked as a construction engineer. Chen recently curated Pre-Millennium: Printmaking from the 90’s at RedGate Gallery (Beijing, China) and White Lies at Maryland Institute College of Art, where he is an MFA Candidate in Curatorial Practice.