Watching You, Watching Me: A Photographic Response to Surveillance

From: February 17, 2017 @ 00:00 EDT
To: July 2, 2017 @ 23:59 EDT
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with Tomas van Houtryve
February 17 – July 2, 2017
Museum für Fotografie 
Berlin, Germany

What right do governments, corporations, and individuals have to collect and retain information on your daily communications? What tools – both today and in the past – have been used to monitor your activities? What are the immediate and far-reaching effects? As governments and corporations around the world expand their efforts to track the communications and activities of millions of people, this not only threatens our right to privacy, but also opens the door for information to be collected and used in ways that are repressive, discriminatory, and chill freedom of speech and expression.

It is in this context of massive information gathering that Watching You, Watching Me – the 22nd installment of the Open Society Foundations’ Moving Walls exhibition — explores how photography can be both an instrument of surveillance and a tool to expose and challenge its negative impact. In tackling the inherent difficulty of visualizing something that is meant to be both omnipresent and covert — seemingly everywhere and nowhere at the same time — the artists in this exhibition, including Tomas van Houtryve, employ a dynamic range of approaches. Together, these 10 artists provide a satellite-to-street view of the ways in which surveillance culture blurs the boundaries between the private and public realm. These projects raise important and provocative questions about the role of privacy in preserving our basic freedoms and rights.

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