FAYETTE, Iowa (February 10, 2010)—Upper Iowa University will exhibit “Visual Investigations,” by artist John Diggle in the Bing-Davis Memorial Gallery in Edgar Fine Arts Hall on the Fayette campus from Feb. 16 – Mar. 15.
Diggle is an associate professor of art at the University of Utah, who specializes in printmaking. On Tues., Feb. 16 in Edgar Fine Arts Hall, Diggle will also host a print demonstration at10:30 a.m., lecture at 1 p.m., and greet visitors at an artist reception from 2-3:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.
“Visual Investigations” is influenced by the surveillance that exists today from the use of closed-circuit television (CCTV) and other types of cameras or scanning equipment. “In our increasingly technological society it is becoming common to be spied upon or spy on others in some way,” said Diggle. “In many cities, just walking down the street can mean that you have been filmed or photographed many times, either from street cameras, ATM machines, or by cameras inside shops or subway stations.”
According to Diggle, commonplace technology that daily tracks the general public also includes camera phones and pocket cameras with recording devices that can instantly be uploaded to the Internet and seen by millions—and not always with the consent of those being filmed. Other widespread surveillance consists of businesses monitoring employee Internet use; government tracking of phone records; GPS systems monitoring driver locations and driving habits, as well as fingerprint, retinal, and full-body scans.
“It is through travelling that I have been perhaps made more aware of the information that is collected. To enter the United States, my biometric details, fingerprints, retinal scans, are collected.” Diggle says he knows this information is collected for good reason but has made him question the variety of details that the general public reveals in order to lead a “normal” life.
“Some of my more current prints have specifically addressed the use of the new body-scanning technology recently introduced at airports,” said Diggle. “These prints include representations of scanned bodies, but also include other imagery that is evocative of flight/aircraft, such as a bird head at the front of the craft that acts as a metaphor for surveillance—being seen from above.”
He adds that surveillance also has many positive benefits, including catching criminals, finding abducted children, and keeping areas safe by lowering crime.
Diggle received a foundation diploma from West Surrey College of Art & Design, Farnham, UK, in 1986, a B.A. (Hons) from Bristol Polytechnic (renamed University of the West of England), Bristol, UK, in 1989, and an M.F.A. from Southern Illinois University in 1997.
Upper Iowa’s gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Questions regarding this exhibit, print demonstration, lecture, and artist reception can be directed to John Siblik, associate professor of art, at 563-425-5241 or e-mail email@example.com.
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