Call for Contributions: Surveillance/Art Edited Collection

Call for Contributions: Surveillance/Art Edited Collection

Hingman Leung (director), #tresdancing (film still), 2022. Written by Tim Maughan and sava saheli singh. Produced by Lesley Marshall and sava saheli singh.

Call for Contributions
Edited collection: Surveillance/Art: A Creative Address of Surveillance Logics

Edited by Susan Cahill, with Julia Chan, Stéfy McKnight, and sava saheli singh

Deadline for proposals: 15 May 2022

This edited collection brings together a selection of creative, critical, and scholarly works that speak to each other in their engagement with art and surveillance. We invite artworks, art writing, and scholarly writing that address a range of topics associated with surveillance. Specifically, we are interested in contributions that situate art in relation to the beliefs and value systems that enable and justify the applications of surveillance as a system and technology of social control (Browne 2012; Maynard 2017).

Our definition of surveillance is broad: we think of it as the social, technological, cultural, political, and historical structures that dictate the will and capacity to monitor which people are free to move, settle, and live, and which people are not. We see these structures as working in conjunction with colonial-capitalism, white supremacy, and cis-heteropatriarchy, and are interested in creative works and writing that critically think through these intersections. We situate this collection in relation to broader scholarship that discusses the implications and histories of surveillance in relation to race, gender, class, sexuality, and ability (for instance, works by Browne 2015; Dubrosky and Magnet 2015; Kafer and Grinberg 2019; Khan et al. 2022; Monahan 2017; Saltes 2013). Proposed contributions to this edited collection can engage with any historical period and geopolitical space.

Farhad Pakdel (director), Frames (film still), 2017. Written by Madeline Ashby. Produced by Farhad Pakdel and sava saheli singh.

Importantly, this collection forefronts art practices as generative and integral participants in historical and contemporary understandings of surveillance. Art and creativity are broad terms, and can refer to a number of mediums and disciplines. For this collection, we focus on mediums of art that would be conventionally associated with visual art galleries and museums: painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, film and video, installations, site-specific art, performance, and photography (if you are not sure whether your work fits with our call, please do not hesitate to reach out). With these works, we are interested in contributions that counter-surveil the agents and systems of surveillance and present them to audiences in ways that denormalize these structures to reveal the often invisible and unquestioned logics that govern them. In this way, we encourage contributions that position art as a creative methodology, a way to think about artistic and critical interventions that trouble, reveal, challenge, and resist surveillance structures and larger understandings of them.

Once assembled, the edited collection will be submitted for publication to a scholarly press, which will involve the peer-review process.

STÉFY, Colder Now, 2017, Installation View, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Katarokwi/Kingston, Ontario.

Submission guide and timelines:

Please send submissions and any questions to

All submissions should be sent by 15 May 2022, and include a 100-word bio per contributor. For artworks, please send a 250-word artist statement and up to 5 images. For written pieces, please send a 500-word abstract. All attachments should be in pdf form, except for images, which should be in jpg form. If the artwork is video format, please send a link as part of your submission.

We will respond to submissions by 15 June 2022. For accepted pieces, full versions will be due 01 December 2022. Format and structure of artwork contributions will depend on the specifics of the medium and reproduction. Full versions of written pieces will be 5000-7000 words, including notes and references.

Cam Hunters, Screen shot from the Wolfe Island ferry website’s live CCTV feed, 2020.


Browne, Simone. 2012. “Race and Surveillance.” Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies, eds. Kirstie Ball, Kevin Haggerty, and David Lyon, Routledge.

Browne, Simone. 2016. Dark Matters, Duke University Press.

Dubrosky, Rachel E. and Shoshana Amielle Magnet, eds. 2015. Feminist Surveillance Studies, 2015.

Kafer, Gary and Daniel Grinberg, eds. 2019. “Queer Surveillance,” special themed issue of Surveillance & Society 17, 5.

Khan, Sheila, Nazir Ahmed Can, and Helen Machado, eds. 2022. Racism and Racial Surveillance, Routledge.

Maynard, Robyn. 2017. Policing Black Lives, Fernwood Publishing.

Monahan, Torin. 2017. “Regulating belonging: surveillance, inequality, and the cultural production of abjection.” Journal of Cultural Economy 10, 2: 191-206.

Saltes, Natasha. 2013. “‘Abnormal’ Bodies on the Borders of Inclusion: Biopolitics and the Paradox of Disability Surveillance.” Surveillance & Society 11, 1/2: 55-73.