The Art of Being Watched: New Esther Klein Gallery Exhibit Examines Surveillance

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Surveillance, a new exhibition at the University City Science Center, will explore how surveillance has evolved into a common aspect of daily life.

Since electronic surveillance was first used in modern society, it has become a fixture in and around urban settings, altering human behavior and reconfiguring interactions between people. Surveillance: An Exhibition of Work on the Observation, Recording, and Storage of Human Activity explores how surveillance has evolved into a common aspect of daily life. The exhibit opens at the University City Science Center’s Esther Klein Gallery (EKG) on August 18, 2016, and runs through September 30th. An opening reception will be held at EKG, located at 3600 Market Street in Philadelphia, on August 18th from 5 – 7:30 p.m., followed by a Surveillance Drone Action Figure workshop at EKG on August 27, 2016 from 1 – 3 p.m., hosted by artists Daniel Newman and Keith Hartwig.

The exhibit, which features works by Newman and Hartwig, also looks at how the concept of surveillance generates language, symbolism, narrative, and identity. Some works in the exhibit explore the origins of our nonchalance towards surveillance, while others examine the evolution of the public’s acceptance of and consent to be observed.

The Surveillance Drone Action Figure Workshop on August 27th will allow participants to download materials needed to construct replicas of surveillance vehicles that are presently in use over U.S. populations. Participants are encouraged to customize their drones, crafting opinions and creating stories on issues revolving around the use of mobile surveillance.

Keith Hartwig is a Masters candidate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and an adjunct professor of architecture and visual studies at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He creates works of art and architecture that promote user participation and civic dialogue. Daniel Newman is an associate architect and a designer of buildings, objects, and media, with a practice based in Philadelphia and New York City. Since 2000, Daniel has been exploring the intersection of media and the built environment. He received his Masters of Architecture from Parsons, The New School for Design.

About the Science Center
Located in the heart of uCity Square, the University City Science Center is a dynamic hub for innovation, and entrepreneurship and technology development in the Greater Philadelphia region. Founded in 1963 as the nation’s first urban research park, it provides business incubation, programming, lab and office facilities, and support services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and growing and established companies. Graduate firms and current residents of the Science Center’s business incubator support one out of every 100 jobs in Greater Philadelphia and drive $12.9 billion in economic activity in the region annually. For more information about the Science Center, go to or view our 2016 Annual Review at

About the Esther Klein Gallery
The Esther Klein Gallery (EKG), which opened in 1976, uses the creative arts as a platform to explore relationships between art, science and technology. EKG seeks to positively impact the cultural life of both its immediate neighborhood of West Philadelphia and the broader Philadelphia community. EKG programming is designed to explore the range of art, science and technology exhibitions and includes gallery talks, panel discussions, and education programs. For more information, visit

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Jeanne Mell

Kristen Fitch