MSU museum examines oversight and ethics


EAST LANSING, Michigan – The Science Gallery at MSU presents Tracked & Traced at the Michigan State University Museum from September 10 to December 11. The exhibition and its public support programs examine the complex relationship between oversight and ethics.

With contributions from more than a dozen national and international artists, scientists and researchers, the exhibition explores both virtual and physical surveillance through four key themes. These include focusing on the ways companies collect personal information to generate profit, how surveillance disproportionately targets disadvantaged populations, and efforts to create more transparency and accountability. choices about how personal data is used, and about the protective measures individuals can take to combat unethical supervisory practices.

After reviewing more than 175 open call submissions from around the world, the curators selected 18 exhibits to feature in the exhibit. Artists from the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Mexico and the United Kingdom are represented in the exhibition. Michigan State University Assistant Professor Abhishek Narula of the Department of Art, Art History, Design and Electronic Art and Intermediate Architecture and Experience is among those this. Guest curators for the exhibit include Hasan Elahi, professor and chair of the art department at George Mason University, Hannah Redler Hawes, independent curator and director of data as culture at the Open Data Institute, and Emily Wegner , researcher in AI and facial recognition software. at the University of Chicago.

“Tracked & Traced’s artwork captures a wide range of how tracking and tracing technologies impact our lives – from the sinister to the unifying and the beneficial,” notes guest curator Hannah Redler Hawes . “They reveal how our place within these systems ranges from the collateral damage of the constant surveillance that seemingly accidentally captures us moving through our own cities, to being critical voices calling out the biased algorithms that have emerged from our security processes. imperfect conception by imperfect and too often monocultural people. We need to consider how these systems “train” us and how we might strategize to react, retaliate or subvert with humor. Projects move from wall to immersive and from software algorithms to IoT hardware and systems. Many suggest quirky and fun hacks that could allow us to use these systems for our own purposes in fun, ethical, and rewarding ways.

Fifteen exhibitions will be presented in the main gallery of the MSU Museum. Additional exhibits will be incorporated into MSU’s new STEM teaching and learning center and throughout downtown East Lansing. Look for “Street Ghosts” by acclaimed artist Paolo Cirio, honorable mention recipient at the 2021 Ars Electronic Prize media arts competition in East Lansing. The work consists of images of people captured by Google Street View and posted in the same physical locations they were taken.

“Since the dawn of the 21stst century, new technologies accelerated the way governments, businesses and individuals monitored people, places and things around the world, ”says Devon Akmon, director and curator of the MSU museum. “This timely exhibit seeks to explore the myriad of ways in which surveillance affects our society while encouraging visitors to explore how we can work to enable more ethical and fair practices to see and be seen.

The exhibition kicks off with a variety of virtual and in-person programs. This includes a

live game from Prohibitions only, an interactive game that critically examines the policing of marginalized bodies and sex work, presented in partnership with Ars Electronica Festival 2021, which is known as one of the world’s largest international multimedia festivals that celebrates technology, science and the arts. And, later in September, an outdoor screening of the critically acclaimed film “The Truman Show” in the WJ Beal Botanical Gardens.

In summary, MSU’s Science Gallery will present a dozen programs in conjunction with the exhibition, including a workshop and lecture on the proprietary nature of artificial intelligence (AI) and the algorithms that underpin our technologies driven by the famous transmedia artist and professor at Stony Brook University. Stephanie Dinkins. For full information on the exhibition and to see the full virtual program which includes lectures, workshops and performances, visit:

The MSU Museum will reopen on Tuesday, September 7 with normal hours Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with closings on Sunday and Monday. Free and timed tickets are mandatory and can be booked online from September. Currently, masks are mandatory for all visitors inside the Michigan State University campus. Learn more on the Together We Will website.

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