“Where does public space end and private space begin on the web?”
Public Eye Action
Installation view, Weisman Art Museum. Photo Rik Sfera.
Public Eye Action is a series of public webcam performances.
Where does public space end and private space begin on the web? Who holds the deed? To who does the imagery these spaces render belong? All over the world cameras are aimed at us by private, corporate and government entities that capture our images and actions as we go about our daily lives. Public Eye Action is a series of site-specific visual events created for public webcams that humorously hijack these eyes in the sky to expose their persistent presence in our daily lives as we lay claim to the space and by our conscious actions define the content the cameras capture.
How aware are you of these cameras? How many do you encounter in any give day? When you are alone in an elevator and come eye to eye with one: Do you have the desire to stare back? Do you want to make a face, gesture or mouth a few well-chosen words? In this space the camera and what it sees seems passive, but it maintains a certain control and authorship in its anonymity. That is until the watched becomes aware and returns the gaze.
In addition you can go to thousands of websites all over the world and watch what some of these cameras capture. Viewers come to these spaces with an expectation of an encounter with unconscious mundane behaviors. But how does the space change when the images you witness are directed at the camera with specificity and intention? One viewer of such an event wrote How does the viewer figure out that what they’re seeing isn’t random, unplanned, or without intent? Since the viewer would not necessarily expect their webcam visit to offer anything other than a picture of a ‘real’ place/time, it seems to me to add another layer to the experience of reality.
Public Eye Action sets out to see what happens when it homesteads these internet spaces by presenting the camera with consciously determined imagery. Krista Kelley Walsh and her collaborators have created a series of site-specific visual events for public access web cameras since December of 2008. This summer the UofM community will be solicited to help create a series of conscious images and actions for the Northrup Mall Webcam.
Northrop Mall, University of Minnesota
May 17, 2009
A. Johnson Florist Cooler, March 17, 2009
St Thomas Drawing #2, February 4, 2009
St Thomas Drawing #1, January 18, 2009
The physical properties of material and the discipline of attention drive my work. I see art and life as inseparable and to sustain a creative stance is vital for my community and myself. My content and form are aligned with my goal to demystify art as a practice and as a cultural experience. The forms I use establish reciprocity with the audience: process art, installation, performance, site-specific art, collaboration and interactivity. The content is layered and open to interpretation. All these factors challenge how I make art: the materials and venue I choose as well as art as object, authorship, temporality and permanency.
Krista Kelley Walsh is a multidisciplinary artist and art activist living in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her projects use simple materials, responsive collaboration and audience interaction. Collaboration is essential in her practice with other artists and with her audience. Her aim is to remove any barriers that prevent art from being a part of our everyday life.
Walsh had exhibited drawings and paintings extensively for 20 years when she began making installation, process and performance art in the mid 90s. In the summer of 2005, as a member of the multidisciplinary collective Local Strategy, Walsh co-created LandMARK: 24 hours at the Stone Arch Bridge, Mpls. In 2004 She worked with Lisa D’Amour and Katie Pearl on Limo for the Whitney at Altria, NYC and with them again in 2007 on Bird Eye Blue Print a performance tour of a vacated office space in the World Financial Center, NYC.
Walshs recent projects include an interactive installation commissioned by the Science Museum of Minnesota and her ongoing public action the Gratitude Guerilla Action because there is so much to be grateful for And she is currently working on a 7 year collaborative life and art project under the leadership of Linda Montano Another 21 Years of Art and Life 1998-2019.
Krista has been a recipient of Blacklock Residency Fellowship, MN State Arts Board Grant, Intermedia Arts Installation Fellowship, Intermedia Arts Naked Stages Performance Fellowship, Science Museum of Minnesota Artist Residency and Forecast Public Art project grant.
Public Eye Action is a commission of Northern Lights Art(ists) On the Verge program with the generous support of the Jerome Foundation and fiscal sponsorship of Forecast Public Art. The Minneapolis College of Art and Design supported the related symposium Experimenting With Art in Public Places. The Weisman Art Museum will exhibit the AOV commissions July 5 – August 23, 2009. Additional support for Northern Lights provided by the McKnight Foundation.