Interview with Weinberg/Newton Gallery about Instrumental, December 2019

“Instrumental: Power, Voice, and Labor at the Airport,” Sounding Out!, February 2019

     

Instrumental (stills), 2018, HD video (three channels, 11:22 minutes, sound), install, The Way The Mystic Sees, Weinberg/Newton Gallery, Chicago, Sep 6 – Dec 14, 2019

This exhibition surveys contemporary perspectives and historical approaches to technology and surveillance. Works in the exhibition appear in a range of media – from language to video – to establish a spectrum of the technological. Certain artworks directly elucidate the subject of surveillance, while others begin to locate life beyond being and feeling watched.

Nadav Assor, Nick Cave, Mary Helena Clark, Max Guy, Christopher Meerdo, Asa Mendelsohn, Catherine Sullivan, Maryam Taghavi, and Marilyn Volkman

Presented in collaboration with Human Rights Watch

     

Instrumental, 7 channel HD video installation (monitors, moveable stands, color, sound, 11:37 minutes, loop), SME Gallery, UC San Diego, 2018

For a public video art project, Security Chorus, I collaborated with airport security workers who are also singers, inviting them to sing songs of their choosing in front of a camera at the San Diego International Airport. The resulting videos reflect on the relationships between a person and their work, voice, and identity that take form within the heightened security and surveillance of the airport.

These performances provided the groundwork for Instrumental, a series of video works addressing institutional and interpersonal dynamics of power, voice, labor, and intimacy.

A 7-channel version of the work features musical performances by airport security workers alongside videos made with my mother, my partner, and students from the society of Women Engineers at UC San Diego, with whom I collaborated to create “interior mics”: microphones that can record the sound of your voice inside your head while you’re speaking.