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Faculty art exhibition explores invasive qualities of surveillance

June 6, 2017

Edward Kelley, a 3D design instructor and studio assistant in Drake University’s Department of Art and Design, has been selected for an exhibition at Art League Houston in Houston, TX.

Kelley’s installation, titled “Speak of the Devil,” features an interactive installation of more than 250 surveillance cameras placed throughout the gallery, "playfully addressing the invasive qualities of CCTV surveillance, as well as its acceptance in our everyday lives.”

One-third of the cameras in the gallery will be motion activated, and some of the cameras will take still photographs that visitors can engage with in multiple ways, with the option of shredding, displaying, or taking ownership of printed copies. The exhibition will be on display from June 9 to July 22; more information is available online.

“Systematic surveillance has become such a routine and inescapable part of our everyday culture, that we have become accustomed to its presence” Kelley said. “The exhibition playfully highlights this growing presence through an immersive installation that explores the complexity and variability of our own understanding and engagement regarding surveillance technology, while also highlighting the ethical issues relating to personal privacy”.

Kelley received a M.F.A. in sculpture from Syracuse University in 2005 and a B.A. from the College of Charleston in 1999. In 2014, he spearheaded and curated the first “Art on DART” exhibition, turning a Des Moines Area Rapid Transit bus into a mobile fine art gallery for a two-month period. He is a recipient of a Des Moines Area Public Art Foundation funding grant for his work with Des Moines Area Rapid Transit. Recent exhibitions include DEMO Projects, Manifest Gallery, and The Anderson gallery at Drake University. In September, Edward presented at the International Sculpture Center Conference in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Prior to joining the Drake community, Kelley worked in the fine arts industry as a mold and pattern maker as well as owning and operating a fine arts services company. He continues his interest in mold making by organizing and leading a yearly cast metal workshop in the sculpture department.