MARK GEVISSER: Your smartphone — carrying around a potential secret agent in your very pockets
The risks of opening our private lives to digital surveillance and scrutiny in the name of public health are now a stark reality
In late March, just days before we were compelled to disappear from public life due to the lockdown, the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg opened an exhibition that could not have been more poignantly named, or more eerily timed. The gallery has now admirably rendered How To Disappear in three dimensions, and you can walk through it online. The works of the eleven participating artists function as warning bells and resistance acts, as evasion strategies and escape plans. Curated by Amy Watson, they explore the implications of the surveillance that governs the digital world in which we now dwell, and their work is both chilling and comforting as we grapple with the erasure that comes with keeping away from each other, and as we accept the erosion of our privacy rights in the name of public health.
Enter the main gallery, and you are confronted by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin’s Spirit is a Bone, a grid of ghoulish images taken by the SA-British duo in Moscow in 2014. The art...