“On Watch” opens at H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute

27 January 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 27, 2011) – “On Watch” opens Feb. 10 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, 16 E. 43rd St. The exhibition explores strategies of surveillance in contemporary art and culture in the works of six international artists and a pioneering open-source project team.

Artists have long been engaged in the acts of watching and being observed, according to Raechell Smith, director and curator at the Artspace. The artists in “On Watch”employ a range of methodologies and technologies – from border patrol, mobile phones, street level surveillance, aerial reconnaissance photography, inverse surveillance, satellite imagery, GPS and global mapping to social media.

“The erasure between private and public has escalated through opportunities for individuals, agencies and governments to witness, observe, report, gather, share, access and archive information and activities,” Smith said. “Whether for the sake of convenience or ease of access, for a sense of safety and security or for evidential proof, we are all watching and we are all being watched.”

Artists included in the exhibition are Jananne Al-Ani, Taysir Batniji, Hasan Elahi, Mark Lombardi, Nicolas Provost and Ushahidi. The exhibition runs through March 31.

About the H&R Block Artspace 

Since 1999, the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute has been dedicated to presenting quality exhibitions of contemporary art and a range of public programs for students, educators, artists, arts enthusiasts and the general public. The Artspace receives important support from the H&R Block Foundation, the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and private contributions. The Artspace is located at 16 E. 43rd St., one block east of Main Street. Public hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free. For more information about upcoming exhibitions and public programs, visit the Artspace on the Web at www.kcai.edu/artspace or call 816-561-5563.

About the Kansas City Art Institute

The Kansas City Art Institute is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with majors in animation, art history, ceramics, digital filmmaking, digital media, fiber, graphic design, illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and studio art with an emphasis on creative writing. The college also offers certificate programs in Community Arts and Service Learning and in Asian Studies for students enrolled in the B.F.A. program. KCAI hosts “Current Perspectives,” a free public lecture series; free exhibitions at the H&R Block Artspace gallery; and evening, weekend and summer classes in art, design, multimedia studies and desktop publishing for children, youth and adults. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization. For more information, visit KCAI on the Web at www.kcai.edu.

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For more information, contact Cat Szalkowski, communications assistant, at 816-802-3458 or cszalkowski@kcai.edu