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Marie Sester,Artist, New York

Paradise under Surveillance: Transparency, Visibility, and Network Access




February 2, 2004; 50 Minutes; Video

Marie Sester's work questions the societal perspective of the West and the "New World Order". She works with historical, archeological and artistic documents such as large-scale x-rays, architectural ground plans, elevations, sections, city maps, and aerial views. She creates immersive installations using technologies from the entertainment and surveillance industries. Her work proposes connections between individuals and broader forces, spatial scales, and histories.

Sester explores ways that societies implement forms, focusing primarily on ideas of transparency, visibility, and access: "Transparency, a term used in architecture in the 18th century, has recently reappeared in political, economic, and media discourses. Included in its values are those of information and communication, control and surveillance. The goal of transparency is visibility, but paradoxically transparency may serve to remove the visibility of these environments and promote secrecy. Visibility is also linked to the evolution of Western culture in the 20th century, from the Hollywood star industry to the explosion of advertising". Sester's third interest, access, emerges from the fact that a wired culture increasingly demands regulated forms of entry, from bank cards to code numbers, from passwords to plug-ins.