PRINT May 2017


Frank Heath

Frank Heath, The Hollow Coin, 2016, HD video, color, sound,12 minutes 25 seconds.

IT IS ONE OF THE GREAT PARADOXES of our current era of mediated interconnectivity: We adopt the very same technologies used by intelligence agencies and corporations to covertly track our behavior as our primary means to communicate, to consume, and even to preserve our most intimate memories. This uneasy affinity between surveillant and surveilled provided the central theme of Frank Heath’s recent show at the Swiss Institute in New York. The duality was in fact already signaled in the show’s title, “Blue Room,” which refers to two quite different spaces: areas in prisons reserved for projecting immersive videos of nature for inmates in solitary confinement as a means of reducing violent behavior, and US Air Force command centers used to monitor airspace during the Cold War (the name came from the ambient light emitted by radar screens). Navigating the hazy nexus between carceral

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