The New Normal
Curated by Michael Connor
Main Space
April 26 - June 21, 2008 

Opening Reception
April 25, 6 - 8 pm 

The New Normal brings together thirteen artworks that explore the increasing exposure of the private sphere to public view, whether voluntary or involuntary. Each of the works shown was completed after October 2001, when Vice President Cheney described new government surveillance measures after 9/11 as “the new normalcy.” At the same time, as telephones were tapped and airline passengers were searched, many of us willingly began to document and share aspects of our own lives online, for convenience or community.

Personal information has become a readily available raw material. In response to this shift, many of the artists featured in The New Normal have used other people’s private information and images—home videos, financial data, leaked documents—as the basis of their work. By doing so, they offer disconcerting glimpses into the lives of neighbors, strangers, and celebrities, while making visible the social and aesthetic conventions that lie behind these disclosures.

Other artists in the exhibition adopt self-disclosure as a strategy, one that seemingly conflicts with the need for privacy. These artists willingly reveal their own bodies, their consumer habits, and their domestic spaces. For some of them, this reflects the social desire to build intimacy; for others, it is framed as a gesture of defiance in response to the intrusiveness of surveillance.

Taken as a whole, the works in The New Normal suggest that access to private information is a currency whose circulation is growing and evolving. We may find this exchange both frightening and fascinating, but we are inescapably complicit in its perpetuation.

Artists: Sophie Calle, Mohamed Camara, Hasan Elahi, Eyebeam R & D/ Jonah Peretti and Michael Frumin, Kota Ezawa, Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher, Guthrie Lonergan, Jill Magid, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Trevor Paglen, Corinna Schnitt, Thomson & Craighead, Sharif Waked

From left:
Jill Magid
Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, 2007

Sophie Calle
Unfinished, 2005

Thomson & Craighead
Beacon, 2007

Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

Jill Magid
Lincoln Ocean Victor Eddy, 2007.
Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008.  

From left:
Kota Ezawa
Home Video II, 2007

Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher
Learning to Love You More (Assignment 50: Take a flash photo under your bed), 2005

Corinna Schnitt
Once Upon a Time, 2005
 
Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

Installation View from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

From left:
Trevor Paglen
Six CIA Officers Wanted in Connection with the Abduction of Abu Omar from Milan, Italy, 2007
 
Mohamed Camara
Les Rideaux de Mohamed (The Curtains of Mohamed), c. 2004

Guthrie Lonergan
MySpace Intro Videos, 2006-ongoing

Kota Ezawa,
Home Video II, 2007

Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher
Learning to Love You More (Assignment 50: Take a flash photo under your bed), 2005

Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

From left:
Eyebeam R&D/Jonah Peretti & Michael Frumin
Fundrace 2008 (Neighbor Search), 2007-08

Hasan Elahi
Tracking Transience: Position and Tracking Transience: Evidence, 2007

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy
Vice Presidential Downtime Requirements (formerly titled Band Rider Series: Dick Cheney)

Trevor Paglen
Six CIA Officers Wanted in Connection with the Abduction of Abu Omar from Milan, Italy, 2007

Mohamed Camara
Les Rideaux de Mohamed (The Curtains of Mohamed), c. 2004

Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008.
All photographs otherwise stated: Adam Reich. 

Sharif Waked
Chic Point: Fashion for Israeli checkpoints, 2003.
Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

Sharif Waked
Chic Point: Fashion for Israeli checkpoints, 2003.
Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008. 

Sharif Waked
Chic Point: Fashion for Israeli checkpoints, 2003.
Installation view from The New Normal, Artists Space, 2008.