Photo: Katherine Du Tiel

Artist Talk

Julia Scher

Related Exhibition Film as Place
Part of Artist Talks and Film as a Place

Julia Scher’s work concerns surveillance and electronic security, and the power that inhabits those systems. Since the 1980s, when Scher began to explore these issues, surveillance technologies have permeated our culture ever more deeply, and in evolving ways (from sounds to images to data). Her major work, Predictive Engineering, registers and reveals this process. First conceived for SFMOMA’s Van Ness building in 1993, and then updated by the artist in 1998 after the museum moved to its present site, Predictive Engineering uses a combination of prerecorded footage and real-time surveillance to explore mechanisms for social control. Just as technology and architecture have changed, so has Scher’s work. In preparation for the third installation, Predictive Engineering3 (1993–present), currently on view in the exhibition Film as Place, the SFMOMA Artist Initiative worked closely with Scher to explore the complex issues surrounding the preservation and renewal of this changing work.

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