The Art of Watching: Privacy and the Public Eye

Lincoln Perry, Jakub Geltner, Nathalie Miebach, Laurie Frick, Barbara Hashimoto, Nikki Rosato, Will Sears, Jer Thorpe

JULY 21 - SEPTEMBER 17

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 22, 5-8pm

The Art of Watching: Privacy and the Public Eye - Lincoln Perry, Jakub Geltner, Nathalie Miebach, Laurie Frick, Barbara Hashimoto, Nikki Rosato, Will Sears, Jer Thorpe

“The Art of Watching: Privacy and the Public Eye” brings together the IAPP’s collection of contemporary privacy art, more than 100 editions of George Orwell’s book Nineteen Eighty-Four, and various ephemera to the novel, to illustrate concepts of privacy and surveillance.

Since the first edition was published in 1949, there have been many hundreds of versions of Nineteen Eighty-Four published in dozens of languages. For each of these efforts, a graphic designer was confronted with the challenge of presenting the themes of the book in an accessible and compelling way.

Within the collection, you will find many images that seem cliché. Eyes, locks, doors and windows are all used as symbols of surveillance. But look at the evolution of these symbols over time and you will see everything from mid-century modernism to futuristic views of the 1960s to grim imagery of decay from the 1980s and 1990s. You will also see reflections of the eras in which each book was published. There are pulp-fiction covers that focus on the sexuality in Nineteen Eighty-Four; there are versions that focus on authoritarian power.

Together with contemporary works from artists Lincoln Perry, Jakub Geltner, Laurie Frick, Nathalie Miebach and others, the exhibit represents more than 60 years of artistic interpretations of the themes of privacy, surveillance, and political and social coercion – providing a fascinating view of the shifting perceptions of privacy through generations and across cultures.