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No Place To Hide

Hasan Elahi, Stay, 2011, digital cellphone captured images, will be on view in No Place to Hide, Tang Teaching Museum, October 31, 2015, to February 21, 2016.

Tang Teaching Museum's new exhibition 'No Place to Hide,' opened on October 31, 2015

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition 'No Place to Hide.' The exhibition will be open through Sunday, February 21, 2016.

The term "surveillance" originated in the late 1700s during the French Reign of Terror, which followed the French Revolution. More recently, philosophers have explored how unceasing observation — constant unwavering watching — will likely shape and modify an observed subject’s behavior. In essence, this continuous monitoring amounts to a form of disciplinary power and societal control. Once the realm of the totalitarian state, many democratic governments and private businesses now exploit surveillance technologies to collect, store, analyze, profile, share, and sell vast quantities of personal information. What implications do widespread official and commercial deployment of these technologies have on life in contemporary society? What are the consequences for those who are increasingly finding themselves to be "under control"?

No Place to Hide brings together three contemporary artists who all address the impact of "being watched." Hasan Elahi confronts the FBI after being mistaken for a terrorist, Addie Wagenknecht shows how our devices are constantly sending out information to the "cloud," and Aaron Zinman elegantly reveals just how easy it is to find information about yourself.

These works ask us to consider the myriad ways in which we are all under surveillance, the potential ramifications of this data collection, and how our daily electronic interactions contribute to the growing body of personal information being collected about us.

During the fall 2015 semester, students from the Scribner Seminar "No Place to Hide" will study, discuss, and write about the art on display, as well as contribute their own work, Mapping Surveillance in Saratoga Springs, to the exhibition, further demonstrating how, even here, we are all being watched.

No Place to Hide is co-curated by Rachel Seligman, the Tang Teaching Museum's Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs, and Scott Mulligan, Teaching Professor of Management & Business and International Affairs, Skidmore College.

A gallery talk and reception featuring the students in the class and the co-curators will be held Thursday, November 19, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.


The Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College is a pioneer of interdisciplinary exploration and learning.  A cultural anchor of New York's Capital Region, the institution's approach has become a model for university art museums across the country—with exhibition programs and series that bring together the visual and performing arts with fields of study as disparate as history, astronomy, and physics; one of the most rigorous faculty-engagement initiatives in the nation, the Mellon Seminar; and robust publication and touring exhibition initiatives that extend the institution's reach far beyond its walls. The Tang Teaching Museum's building, designed by architect Antoine Predock, serves as a visual metaphor for the convergence of ideas and exchange the institution catalyzes. The Museum celebrates its Fifteenth anniversary in 2015.

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