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Sophie Hamacher with Linda Small: Motherhood and Visibility in Our Age of Surveillance

Friday, May 19 2023
5:30 doors

Join us for a talk between artist Sophie Hamacher and prison justice advocate Linda Small on the occasion of the release of Supervision: On Motherhood and Surveillance, a wide-ranging, first-of-its-kind anthology of art and writing exploring how surveillance impacts contemporary motherhood, published by MIT Press and Orbis Editions.

The tracking of our personal information, activities, and medical data through our digital devices is an increasingly recognizable field in which the lines between caretaking and control have blurred. In this age of surveillance, mothers’ behaviors and bodies are observed, made public, exposed, scrutinized, and policed like never before.

Supervision: On Motherhood and Surveillance gathers together the work of 50 contributors from diverse disciplines that include the visual arts, legal scholarship, ethnic studies, sociology, gender studies, poetry, and activism to ask what the relationship is between how we watch and how we are watched, and how the attention that mothers pay to their children might foster a kind of counterattention to the many ways in which mothers are scrutinized.

A groundbreaking collection, Supervision is a project about vision (and supervision), and all the ways in which vision intersects with surveillance and politics, through motherhood and personal history as well as through the histories and relations of the societies in which we live.

The talk is part of the Spotlight Lecture Series with the Portland Public Library.

Sophie Hamacher is an artist, teacher, and curator whose work concerns media, technology, and the archive. She attended the Whitney Independent Study Program for Critical Studies and is Assistant Professor of MFA and Academic Studies at Maine College of Art & Design in Portland, Maine. Sophie Hamacher’s project Supervision: On Motherhood and Surveillance was awarded an American Rescue Plan Maine Project Grant.

Linda Small is a project coordinator for Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition and the founder and executive director of Reentry Sisters, a reentry support organization specializing in a gender-responsive and trauma-informed approach for women in Maine and beyond. She is also a member of the Opportunity Scholars Network, which helps formerly and currently incarcerated students achieve their educational goals, and a DJ for Justice Radio, a talk show on WMPG and WERU about the carceral state.

Note: This program was edited on May 15th to reflect a late cancellation by co-presenter Keeonna Harris. Harris’s work will be read at the event by New York artist Viva Ruiz.

Co-presented by Portland Public Library, SPACE and Orbis Editions.

Merch by Noise Collective.

The free event will be followed at 9 p.m. by superVISION: A Dance Party for Repro Justice benefit dance party ($10 tickets, 21+).

🕯️ The dance show of the summer is Scapegoat Garden’s Liturgy|Order|Bridge. The Hartford-based company calls upon Black church traditions and ideas of faith, nature, fashion, and experimentation in their limited performance run June 20-22. Tickets available now, presented by SPACE at Mechanics’ Hall. 🕯️