Creative Capital, the national organization that supports individual artists, announces Assistant Professor James Coupe as one of the recipients of its 2009 grants. Initial awards of $10,000 have been made to 41 projects in emerging fields, innovative literature and performing arts. These projects represent 61 artists across the country working individually and in collaboration. Each project becomes eligible for additional funds of as much as $50,000 over the course of the organization’s multi-year commitment.
Coupe's project, Surveillance Suite, is a digital surveillance project and video that appropriates the identities of gallery visitors and staff into fictional narratives, over which the participants themselves have no control. Coupe is working with a team of screenwriters on short films that feature the gallery space and staff where Surveillance Suite is presented. He will then create software that recognizes visitors’ ages, genders, and ethnic characteristics, and then appropriates the visitors into the films themselves in real time. The videos that result will be played on monitors throughout the gallery.