and all are watched over by machines of loving grace

And all watched over by machines of loving grace plays with the expectations of bodies, looking, and technology. Two large monitors, each displaying a disembodied eye, stare out at the audience. As an audience member walks past, the eyes look at them and follow their movement. Forcing the connection between the eye of the camera and the eye of the human, this piece questions the presumed objectivity of the technologies of surveillance and the inherent subjectivities of those who (often invisibly) control and interpret them. To further draw out these parallels, a video in an adjacent area plays a continuous loop of an extreme close-up of an eye that blinks in slow motion. According to Szoke and MacDonald, the installation “emphasizes the human element of surveillance—a blink—that implies an inherent failure compared to machine surveillance.” The artists take the title of the piece from a 1967 Richard Brautigan poem, which articulates a vision of a loving and caring gaze of humanity, as a critique of the current state of surveillance that the artists see as being centrally concerned with crime and consumerism. This piece has been included in a variety of exhibitions, including at Centre 3, Hamilton, ON, (Sept 6 to Oct 19, 2013); “Cyber Insecurities” at Pepco Edison Place Gallery, Washington, D.C. (Aug 30 to Sept 27, 2013); Nuit Blanche/Art Souterrain, Montreal, (March 2-17, 2013); and CRAM International, St. Catharines, ON (April 27 to May 22, 2012). You can access video of the piece at


Client:Donna Szoke and Ricarda McDonald, And all watched over by machines of loving grace, 2012. Interactive video installation involving computer, software, large monitors and a sensor. Image courtesy of the artists. © Donna Szoke and Ricarda McDonald.
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