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Surveillance Exhibitionism

By Rhizome

Jill Magid's work makes surveillance intimate. First drawn to the subject not by political inclination but by a fascination with 'lipstick spy cams,' her projects have included penetrating several international police forces to engage officers in unusual forms of collaboration. In Amsterdam, she initiated the System Azure consulting firm, through which she was hired to encrust local cameras in color-coded rhinestones. In Liverpool, she seduced the cops into navigating and then documenting her actions in public space. Her most recent project, entitled Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, after the police call-letters for L-O-V-E, was sparked when a subway cop declined her request that he search her. Once again turning the tables on the system in which she's intervening, the artist responded to the officer's rebuff (offered on account of her gender) with a request that he train her. The two went on to spend several late nights together, in and outside of the subway tunnels. Magid calls the officer 'my lighthouse underground, and she's documented their meetings in photos, a 64-page 'black book' novella, and in installations of accumulated ephemera. All of the material indexing these semi-private encounters is made public on Magid's project site, where she'll soon be uploading podcast narratives and dialogue from the book, narrated by herself and actor Ed Vas. The audio pieces 'will last about as long as a half hour subway ride.' - Marisa Olson

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