Always There – Surveillance Bed

Julia Scher
November 26 – December 18, 2000

Surveillance Bed III, 2000
Bedstead, steel, wood, foam, 4 monitors, 4 cameras, 1 infrared-camera, 2 computer video switchers, 2 video players, 1 video recorder, 1 microphone, 1 amplifier, 2 speakers, 1 ARRI light (with red filter), cable, bedsheet, blanket
Approx. 180 x 240 x 180 cm


Photo © Ilona Ripke

Surveillance Bed III, 2000
Bedstead, steel, wood, foam, 4 monitors, 4 cameras, 1 infrared-camera, 2 computer video switchers, 2 video players, 1 video recorder, 1 microphone, 1 amplifier, 2 speakers, 1 ARRI light (with red filter), cable, bedsheet, blanket
Approx. 180 x 240 x 180 cm


Photo © Ilona Ripke

Surveillance Bed III, 2000 (detail)
Bedstead, steel, wood, foam, 4 monitors, 4 cameras, 1 infrared-camera, 2 computer video switchers, 2 video players, 1 video recorder, 1 microphone, 1 amplifier, 2 speakers, 1 ARRI light (with red filter), cable, bedsheet, blanket
Approx. 180 x 240 x 180 cm


Photo © Ilona Ripke

Surveillance Bed III, 2000 (detail)
Bedstead, steel, wood, foam, 4 monitors, 4 cameras, 1 infrared-camera, 2 computer video switchers, 2 video players, 1 video recorder, 1 microphone, 1 amplifier, 2 speakers, 1 ARRI light (with red filter), cable, bedsheet, blanket
Approx. 180 x 240 x 180 cm


Photo © Ilona Ripke

Surveillance Bed III, 2000 (detail)
Bedstead, steel, wood, foam, 4 monitors, 4 cameras, 1 infrared-camera, 2 computer video switchers, 2 video players, 1 video recorder, 1 microphone, 1 amplifier, 2 speakers, 1 ARRI light (with red filter), cable, bedsheet, blanket
Approx. 180 x 240 x 180 cm


Photo © Ilona Ripke

Original exhibition invitation (recto) 

Always There – Surveillance Bed

Julia Scher
November 26 – December 18, 2000
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Since the early eighties, Julia Scher has been focusing on questions of personal identity within the context of power, such as surveillance and control. In the modified Surveillance Bed shown here, her interest in voyeurism and exhibitionism, characteristic of her work, is particularly evident. In this sense, the work manifests one of the most personal aspects of her wide-ranging work. 

She once formulated her underlying interest as follows: "Power and its abuse is my most important subject matter, how power is misused to harm people".

 

The bed consists of four cameras and video monitors, each attached to a bedpost. The cameras record the events pictured on the bed. At random, the live video images are intermixed with pre-recorded video images on the video monitors. Thus the bed not only represents an image as an installation, but also depicts images of the activities that have taken place on it over time.

 

At the beginning of her artistic development, Scher’s focus was to engage with mass-media technology platforms. Contributions to the now legendary American activism group Paper Tiger, a politically-leaning independent TV channel in New York, were followed by special network projects within the platform, THE THING or adaweb.

 

The interaction between man and machine articulates an interest in the image, or rather in the image of oneself, which on the one hand poses questions about the limits of privacy and control, but which on the other hand addresses the lust for private objectification and an affirmed uncertainty of the limits of the self. It is the ethical and sexual dimension of these questions that make up the conceptual core of Julia Scher's work.
 

In addition to large installations, specially developed web projects are recurrent works, and which are now amongst the most significant classic works of Net-Art (www.securitybyjulia.com or www.scherware.com). The spectrum of her work is complemented by projects with DJ Spooky for New York clubs or performances such as predictive engineering at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.

 

In addition to her international artistic activities, Julia Scher lectures in the architectural department at MIT in Boston.

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