Jenny Marketou
99 Red Balloons: Be Careful Who Sees You When You Dream, 2005
Participatory air installation
Courtesy of the artist
© Jenny Marketou

Balance and Power: Performance and Surveillance in Video Art

At a time when the nation is preoccupied with heightened security and surveillance, and the public is fascinated by Reality TV with its open and surreptitious video exposure of participants, the boundaries between performance, voluntary acting for the camera, and surveillance, involuntary recording on camera by power systems with an interest in the movement of citizens, become blurred.

Since the earliest days of video art in the mid-1960s, artists have negotiated the question of when surveillance becomes performance (and vice versa) and these concepts continue to be central to many video artists working today. This exhibition, which examines both the early days of video art and current practices, is an attempt to understand the complex relationship between the issues of performance, surveillance, and power. Included in the exhibition are works by some of the earliest practitioners, large-scale installations, newly commissioned pieces, and Jordan Crandall’s new film, Homefront.

Online Checklist (click for installation images)

Exhibition Details

Organizer: Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Curator: Michael Rush

Michael Rush, Director of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, is also a curator, writer, and critic. Rush is the author of three books published by Thames and Hudson, London: Video Art, 2004, the first major survey of the field in more than twenty years; New Media in Art, 2005, which is a fully revised version of his best-selling New Media in Late 20th Century Art, 1999. He has been a regular contributor to The New York Times, Art in America, artnet and several other publications. A former award-winning experimental theater and video artist, Rush’s work has been seen throughout the US and Europe and is in the collections of museums and universities, including the Centre Pompidou and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Contents: 24 works

Space requirements:  Approximately 5,500-6,000 square feet

Publication: A brochure with an essay by curator Michael Rush

Accompanying materials: Wall text and an exhibition checklist handout will be provided electronically. 100 copies of the brochure are included with the fee.

Fee: Loan fee of $17,500, which includes the 8 viewing pods and their equipment, for a 10-week booking, plus pro-rated shipping

For an additional $2,500 venues may rent the viewing equipment for the other works in the show.


Krannert Art Museum and Kinkead Pavilion
October 22 to December 31, 2005

The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University
September 20 to December 17, 2006

Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
February 8 to April 19, 2008

Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL
April 24 to August 30, 2009

Available for travel thereafter                       

Kathleen Harleman, Director
217.244.6481, harleman(at)

Checklist, insurance values, and disc with images are available on request.

Online Checklist (click for installation images)