In his recent work, British-born, Seattle-based artist James Coupe examines the power and meaning of surveillance in our everyday life by working with advanced surveillance technologies, including high definition video cameras, facial recognition software, and computer algorithms derived from popular search engines and social media sites. Coupe works in new media but his artistic practice is anchored in an engagement with older media– namely, cinema, literature, and, most recently, the panorama. Situated at the intersection of the virtual, the fictional, and the real, Coupe’s work examines the ways that contemporary surveillance society simultaneously foregrounds self-observation and mutual observation, and thus mobilizes the classic scopophilic dialectic of voyeurism and exhibitionism. But, rather than subjecting surveillance to a systematic ideological critique, Coupe’s interests lie in the way surveillance provides a theme and metaphor for exploring the paradoxes of the postmodern human condition.
Born 1975, Blackpool, UK. Lives/Works in Seattle, USA, New York City, USA + London, UK
The New Observatory
June 2017 – October 2017 at FACT, Liverpool