Artist Jessamyn Lovell Tracks Down The Person Who Stole Her Identity And Gets Revenge

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In 2011, a woman named Erin Hart stole artist Jessamyn Lovell’s wallet, and eventually her identity, racking up credit card charges, parking tickets, and even a theft charge in Lovell’s name. As an act of retribution for this infuriating and frightening experience, Lovell created an art exhibition called “Dear Erin,” featuring documents, surveillance photos, videos, and interviews documenting Erin Hart’s crime spree. Hell hath no fury like a woman with a stolen identity.

“Using a camera and occupying the varied roles of victim, stalker, investigator, artist, spy, and vigilante, Lovell offers a body of work that touches on contemporary concerns of surveillance and selfhood within the information age.”

The thoroughness of “Dear Erin Hart” is impressive and somewhat alarming. In the attempt to “[understand] this woman and the course of events that brought their lives together,” Lovell hired a private investigator and even photographed Erin Hart being released from jail, a series of photos that are disturbingly stalker-like. The project was exhibited at SF Camerawork from September 3 – October 18, 2014.

Now, in a continuation of the project, Lovell hopes to contact Erin Hart in order to deliver a letter she’s written. She’s raising money for her trip (from Albuquerque, NM where Lovell lives to San Francisco, CA where Hart lives) through the sale of her own photos on Etsy and using a crowd funding campaign posted on her Facebook page.

“Lovell says that her hope is to reach out to her identity thief one more time in an attempt to get her most burning questions answered. Lovell also says that even if her attempt fails and Hart refuses to talk to her, she will at least know Hart knows of Lovell’s existence. She also hopes that Erin Hart will accept the invitation to allow Lovell to interview her and agree to be recorded.”

Erin Case stole Jessamyn Lovell’s identity, time, and peace of mind. Lovell, in relentlessly pursuing her thief, robs her of her anonymity.

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SpY Installs 150 Security Cameras On One Building. You Won’t Believe What They Catch On Camera!

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SpY, an urban/graffiti artist, installed 150 fake security cameras on a building façade in Madrid, Spain. The piece, titled CAMERAS, has no intention of watching over anything, the cameras are simply on the wall for show, rather, to make a statement about excessive surveillance in today’s world. As his website states, “SpY’s s work involves the appropriation urban elements through transformation or replication, commentary on urban reality, and the interference in its communicative codes.”

The repetitiveness, and overwhelming saturation of the cameras, imposes critical questions about cameras of any sort in our lives. Whether that might be security cameras, to a personal camera, to the camera on your phone or computer, we are surrounded by them in our urban landscape and personal space,they questions is: what are they really filming?

Cameras signify the documentation of something important, a bad or good event, but definitely not something mundane. If we are surrounded by cameras, we are also surrounded by the expectations of something grand, something bad or good always happening. This is too much of a burden.

SpY’s pieces want to be a parenthesis in the automated inertia of the urban dweller. They are pinches of intention, hidden in a corner for whoever wants to let himself be surprised. Filled with equal parts of irony and positive humor, they appear to raise a smile, incite reflection, and to favor an enlightened conscience.

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Nathan Vincent’s Six Foot Crocheted Doily Warns ‘Be Good For Goodness Sake’

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Santa is not the only one you telling you to be good for goodness sakes. In today’s word, that is, in today’s virtual, and real life panopticon, you have no other choice but to be good for the sake or yourself, your life, your job, etc. Your success as a human being depends on your good (or bad?) pubic, and well documented, behavior. Everyone is watching, everyone is judging.

“Be Good for Goodness Sake”,a three-person show featuring works by Nathan Vincent, Iviva Olenick, and Kathy Halper at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York, explores ideas of surveillance and public performance in the age of the virtual panopticon (intagram, facebook, etc).

Taking its name from Vincent’s large-scale work installed in the gallery,  “Be Good for Goodness Sake” pushes audiences to question their stance on surveillance and privacy in the age of social media.

Nathan Vincent’s six-foot crocheted doily acts as Big Brother and it invites the spectators to to sit on a bench flanked by security cameras, while Kathy Halper and Iviva Olenick create embroideries that question the psychosocial impacts of intimate over-sharing via social media. Inspired by her own Facebook feed, Olenick uses embroidery and watercolor to render her own “selfies” and portraits of others. Halper’s work similarly questions the disappearing space between public and private online through embroidered drawings of found images from teens’ Twitter and Facebook accounts.

The exhibition, “Be Good for Goodness Sake” will be on view at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York until January 19th, 2014.

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Filez Doux Takes On Surveillance Cameras In Their Cardboard Art

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Surveillance continues to be an inspiration and investigation for artists and designers in the second decade of the new millennium. Taking a decidedly sunnier, DIY-approach, two French designers created an Etsy shop called Filez Doux to continue this exploration through cardboard art. Crafting and selling handmade versions of surveillance cameras made from discarded cardboard, Filez Doux say they are inspired by the pervasiveness of security culture. Although their real names are partially hidden by their moniker, the Lille-based duo (whose real names are listed as Sylvain and Hélène) create works which avoid the typically-negative tone of most work focusing on the encroaching surveillance state.

Beginning the series by playfully creating a light-post made of cardboard for their apartment, the duo began to look around their streets for another inspiration to replicate with used materials. Settling on a security camera, there was seemingly little message behind the first camera created. As the duo explains, “The first one Sylvain made was very realistic and bigger than an actual camera. At first, it was strange to have it in the living room. I sometimes caught myself glancing at it, as if it could be a real one spying on us. Before we knew it, there were 2, 3, then 4 security cameras! Some serious, some fun, some small, some big.” Each camera takes roughly ten hours to complete, and each is a singular construction, as the duo never reuses a design.

Although they lightly suggest otherwise (an asterisk to their name informs visitors to “keep a low profile“), Filez Doux seem more infused with energy from the re-purposed material and the meticulous replications of their work rather than the social commentary. However, it is evident that surveillance is becoming a larger, more widespread issue if popular culture can so easily recognize and reference the camera as ubiquitous and inescapable in our daily lives. (via junk culture & etsy)

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