Eagle-Eye Photo Contest – Landscapes of Surveillance

20.06.2015 — 30.08.2015

As part of the exhibition “Trevor Paglen: The Octopus”, Trevor Paglen and the Frankfurter Kunstverein initiated the Eagle-Eye Photo Contest. During the past few years the documents, reports and analyses made public by Edward Snowden among others have made the extent of mass surveillance known. Still, we lack the imagery and metaphors that would help visualize the individual and societal repercussions of omnipresent mass surveillance. Contestants were encouraged to make use of the principle of ‘Panoramafreiheit’ that exists in Germany. The exemption clause in copyright law allows that which can be seen without aid in the public sphere to be photographed. The resulting “Landscapes of Surveillance” have been considered by a jury including Trevor Paglen, Franziska Nori (Director, Frankfurter Kunstverein), Ditmar Schädel (Chairman of the German Photographic Association DGPh), Nils Bremer (Editor-in-Chief of Journal Frankfurt) and Luminita Sabu (Former Head of the DZ Bank Art Collection and Spokesperson for the RAY Photography Project). The photographs selected by the jury will be on view in the exhibition and will be published in Journal Frankfurt. Additionally all entries, together with their corresponding research, will be collected in a dossier and put on display.

The five winners are Florian Freier, Kerstin Matijasevic, Alessandra Schnellnegger, Dieter Schwer and Julian Slagman. Trevor Paglen presented the winners with a certificate at 8.30 pm at the opening reception (June 19, 2015). The photographs were featured in the exhibition Trevor Paglen: The Octopus.

The jurors based their decisions on criteria that included the success of the approach to the topic „Landscapes of Surveillance“ and the aesthetic quality of the photography submitted. Furthermore, the jurors took the technical and formal execution of the projects and the research conducted in their preliminary stages into consideration.

The different artistic approaches with which the participants individually addressed the topic ultimately convinced the jury to honor five entries instead of three. Because of wide reception among international participants and the high quality of the submissions, the Frankfurter Kunstverein, together with the jury, has decided to present all of the other entries in a dossier in the exhibition.