Rose Butler’s ‘Come and Go’ awarded honourable mention at the inaugural Surveillance Studies Network Arts Fund Prize

Still from dual-screen mockup of Come & Go by Rose Butler

Rose Butler, senior lecturer and Fine Art research scholar, has been awarded an honourable mention by the selection committee of the inaugural biennial Surveillance Studies Network Arts Fund Prize for her interactive artwork Come and Go

The Surveillance Studies Network (SSN) is a registered charitable company dedicated to the study of surveillance in all its forms, and the free distribution of scholarly information. In adjudicating the SSN Arts Fund Prize, the selection committee received an exceptionally strong body of submissions exhibiting great breadth and quality, coming from both emergent artists and those with long-standing bodies of work and esteemed reputations in the field. The Prize was awarded to James Coupe, for his Watchtower: A Machine for Living.

Rose’s Come and Go was marked as especially compelling and as such received one of three honourable mentions.

All four artists will be recognised during a formal award presentation at the 8th Biennial Conference of the Surveillance Studies Network, which takes place in Aarhus, Demark from 07 – 09 June 2018, which Rose will be attending. The four artworks will also be covered in an upcoming special section of the journal Surveillance & Society.

Come and Go is a dual-screen, interactive artwork taking Edison’s 1920s films of the Serpentine Dance as its reference, with the dance phrases filmed from above and on high speed camera (slow motion). The dance phrases choreographed by Alexander Whitley references drone technology, states of limbo, control and resistance. The dancer shapes, animates and makes airborne a length of white silk as she moves within the frame. The marks, scribes and scuffs on the floor alongside the shapes and creases of the material point towards classical paintings. Each screen depicts a similar dance phrase, one plays forwards and one backwards, only occasionally does this become apparent. There are moments of synchronicity and times when the subject’s temporal coordinates are lost. This in addition to the ‘bird’s eye’ camera angle creates a non human-centred focus. The choreographic interpretation takes influence from flight, drones, states of limbo and invisibility.

Rose Butler is an artist, researcher and senior lecturer of Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University, she works with video, photography, sound, animation and installation. She is a full-time Doctoral Researcher, registered in C3RI and sponsored by the SHU Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship Scheme. She is also a board member of Bloc Projects and a freelance artist mentor. Find out more about Rose’s work here.

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