Dr. Susan Cahill is an Assistant Professor of Art History in the Department of Art at the University of Calgary. Her research broadly explores how cultural objects function to shape and reshape the idea of Canada in the modern and contemporary periods. Her current research project, The Art & Surveillance Project, investigates the ways in which creative practices can provoke new ways of seeing the politics and policies of surveillance within contemporary Canadian society. As part of this research, she curates an online database cataloguing artists, artworks, and exhibitions addressing surveillance structures in post-9/11 Canada, www.artandsurveillance.com.
Embodied Encounters and Practical Aesthetics: The Art of Surveillance in post-9/11 Canada
My contribution to the workshop centres on my ongoing research on artworks and exhibitions addressing the policies and politics of surveillance in Canada after 2001. Surveillance structures are central to the logic of the War on Terror, which enacts a disembodying violence that unequally targets and tracks certain bodies (as simplistic reductions of people and communities). My work explores the generative potential of creative engagements in relation to this context of surveillance and the body, whereby the practice of art does not simply re-present or re-confirm that which one already knows, but also constitutes an encounter as an opportunity to think and feel otherwise. Using a series of artworks as case studies, I want to work toward a way of articulating how creative practice actively participates in conversations and debates on surveillance, security, and the regulation of bodies within ongoing rationales for the War on Terror.
Talk Date: April 29, 10-12pm Panel V (closed): Resilience and Generative Politics