Esther Hovers, False Positives (2015–2016)
Walking and moving in public space, in shops and companies, we know that we are being followed by the cold eyes of seeing machines, but do we realise the consequences of this tracking? A false positive in medical terms is a test result that is incorrect because the test indicated a finding that does not exist. False Positives shows how intelligent surveillance systems work and monitor our daily behavioural pattern in public space.
In the case of Hovers’ project, this indication depends on irregularities in data detected and collected by CCTV cameras. Our gestures and performances when walking, standing, or just hanging around in the street are compared with so-called anomalies: certain signs in body language and movements may possibly indicate a suspect or even criminal intention. To visualise these peculiar patterns, Hovers based her project on eight different anomalies. She worked with intelligent surveillance experts who described these aberrations to her. Which she then visualised through drawings.
The photographic research on people present in the financial and political district of Brussels led to intriguingly compiled images which immediately question to what extent we have become the ignorant prey of a surveillance-controlled society. False Positive shows how power, politics and control are exercised through city planning and the use of public space. What is the position of the individual within a predetermined system?
Esther Hovers is a Dutch artist who graduated from the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, in 2015. Since then, her work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions, including C/O Berlin Foundation, Circulation(s) Festival in Paris, FoamPhotography Museum of Amsterdam, as well as in publications such as the Washington Post, M, and Magazine du Monde. In her practice Esther Hovers investigates how power, politics, and control are exercised through urban planning and the use of public space. Esther Hovers is currently living and working in The Hague, Netherlands.
Bunkier Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art
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