Residency Unlimited


Alumni News |
Nov, 2018

Youngho Lee featured in “Observe yourself being watched”

John Doe Gallery (112 Waterbury Street, Brooklyn, New York 11206)
November 6 - November 22, 2018
Opening: November 8, 2018,  6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

John Doe is pleased to present Observe Yourself Being Watched, a collaborative exhibition between MiA Collective Art and a Berlin-based artist, Youngho Lee, and curated by Grace Noh. The exhibition is on view from Tuesday, November 6 to Wednesday, November 21, 2018 with the artist’s reception on Thursday, November 8 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Observe Yourself Being Watched is a collaborative exhibition that originated from a question of our perception of “being watched” – not by human authority, but rather, by technological supremacy. By nature, humans care a great deal about being watched and the behaviors instinctively change under the condition of being alone or of having the gaze of others. As we wait for the subway, walk on the street, or relax on a park bench, we are constantly exposed to the gazes of people but also of various digital devices. Whether we consciously or unconsciously recognize the “surveillance” on us, we comply with the circumstances given to us and allow our traces to be marked.

Ultimately, the digital world is complexly linked to our contemporary lives. The click we make to add an item to the "shopping cart" may haunt us for days, showing up on miscellaneous online advertisement banners. This is nothing new to us, but it is becoming more pervasive and advanced. The exhibition poses questions to our understanding of digital data penetrating our contemporary lives. How much is our own and how much of ourselves are shared with others? How do we perceive the intangible digital remains of ourselves? Can we tolerate the anxiety of ambiguous boundaries and the influence of hyper-intellectual systems?

Observe yourself being watched presents Lee’s observations to these questions: the boundaries between the public and private matters and the extension of sharing with others arise from the process of transfer from material to dematerialization. Like Hansel and Gretel, our traces are marked in the digital world originated from the analog world. When an artist takes a picture of a sports car along the river with a smartphone, a single image content is created. When the image is uploaded online in a digital file, both the artifact and nature in the analog world are digitalized. At this time, the artist’s thoughts and actions, which cannot be seen, also become the raw materials of the digital product. Both the natural and man-made creations as well as the human thoughts, behaviors and actions no longer exclusively exist in the analog world, but can be transferred and infinitely replicated in the digital world.



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