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Noelle Mason


X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility

The artist Noelle Mason’s interest in concepts of surveillance and institutional control mechanisms moved the artist to an
intensive examination of machine vision and photography. Since then, it has been incorporated into her sculptural work.
In doing so, she takes a critical approach to photography and questions the inherent potential of the manipulative, the
restricted view and its limitation to pure seeing. For the work “X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility” Mason investigates public Internet
databases of the US government for surveillance images, such as X-rays, body scans or satellite images, which depict
the immigration of undocumented people. People, lined up in a very small space next to goods in the depths of the truck loading space or hidden in suitcases are recorded here as mere contours and are evidence of smuggling and illegal immigration. Mason transforms these strange pictorial documents into cyanotypes, which are created using a printing process with blue tones, and hand-woven carpets. In the process of artistic appropriation, she releases the images from their institutional purpose and opens them up to a larger space of perception that goes beyond what is purely optically effective.