Mixed Media Collaborations – Under Surveillance

The inspiration for this series was a police vehicle Cleve observed in NY, which is towed to “problem” neighborhoods and cranked upwards to create a surveillance tower. Cleve made several human size towers and, once inside them, felt anger looking through the metal bars and screens. We put up with increasingly intrusive surveillance due to fear of unknown terrorists in a post 9-11 world. Video cameras are ubiquitous and law enforcement agencies have face recognition software. This series was a collaboration with well-known artist Harriet Lesser. It highlights one classic method of surveillance, the tower, to raise awareness of that delicate balance between privacy and security. It includes representations of towers used throughout history in prison camps, refugee camps, dividing cities and countries, war zones and even the detention centers for the Japanese in the U.S. during WW II.

Cleve and Harriet Lesser and Jude also collaborated on a DC Arts Project called “Party Animals.” Artists submitted drawings of how they would decorate either a donkey or an elephant. Jude’s drawing won and all 3 worked on an elephant masquerading as a Monarch Butterfly. The animals were scattered throughout DC to amuse residents and tourists. This elephant was placed outside the Judiciary Square metro station across from the DC police HQ. At the end of the summer, the animals were auctioned off to support DC Arts Programs. This elephant sold for $5,000. DC published a photographic book featuring all 100 animals.

Contact Us with Your Questions or Comments

Scroll to Top