Face Forward

Id/Entity: Portraiture in the 21st Century

Ever pause as you reach for your valid photo ID to wonder how identity can ever be photographed, and what gives it validity? You will after seeing "Id/Entity," SF Camerawork's show of new media portraiture that explores the images we project of ourselves not only through the photo booth lens, but also through surveillance cameras, message machines, motion sensors and pixels.

[...] Context is also a concern of the Surveillance Camera Players (SCP), who keep tabs on some 10,000 surveillance cameras in New York and periodically perform in front of them as a reminder to passersby that they, too, are unwittingly performing for security cams in public spaces. "1984" shows [the] SCP's performance on [one of] New York subway security monitors, holding up such Orwellian signs of the times as "War is Peace" and "Ignorance is Strength" to show how submissive the public appears in the face of security measures once considered extreme. This piece poses a haunting, timely question: How personal is identity anymore, when theft and legal measures imperil it daily? [...]

(Review of exhibit in San Francisco entitled "ID/ENTITY: Portraiture in the 21st Century," written by Alison Bing, and published March 2003 by the SF Gate [exact date unknown].)

Contact the New York Surveillance Camera Players

By e-mail SCP@notbored.org

By snail mail: SCP c/o NOT BORED! POB 1115, Stuyvesant Station, New York City 10009-9998