*Janelle Monae is exploring the intersection between technology and surveillance in a new art installation she created in partnership with the women’s website Refinery 29, according to The Associated Press.
Monae’s exhibit, titled “What’s Your Frequency?,” premiered earlier this week as one of several celebrity contributions, joining work from Demi Lovato, Margot Robbie, Emma Roberts and Jill Soloway. Its eight-day run is already sold out.
View “What’s Your Frequency?” in the video above.
A huge tent in downtown Los Angeles houses the 29 interactive spaces dreamed up by artists and brands. Monae worked for months with the Refinery 29 team to create her room: A space surrounded by mirrors and surveillance cameras, filled with mannequins chained together. Some of them have TV monitors for heads, and footage from the surveillance cameras occasionally plays on them.
“Being an artist, I try not to pass up any opportunities to create art that’s meaningful, that’s thought provoking, and that’s exactly what this room is,” said Monae, a singer, songwriter and actress making her first venture into such physical art. “One of the things I wanted to touch on was mass surveillance, the weaponization of technology and cultural uniformity, and what does it mean when we’re at such a nascent stage psychologically and technology is advancing exponentially. How do we deal with that? It’s like we’re babies with chainsaws.”
She said she hopes her installation will stimulate conversation and questions about conformity and individuality and surveillance and freedom.