Nancy Nisbet is a multidisciplinary
artist with a practice that weaves connections between the political, the technological
and the personal.
Her current artwork, Exchange, has been in development
since 2003. Exchange uses cultural resistance to unsettle questionable relationships
between international politics, technological surveillance, and identity construction.
For this project all of Nancy's personal belongings are inventoried and marked
with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. Nancy will drive a semi-truck,
trading personal items with individuals encountered on her 6-month road trip around
As part of the art project itself, Nancy will consciously
place herself outside of the expected private/commercial categories with respect
to international border crossings. Her Exchange performances create friction surrounding
international trade agreements, surveillance and national security. Participants
must reconsider negotiation and exchange based outside of the standard economic
model. There is no need for economic parity between traded items. Sharing of personal
stories and experiences and the development of community and solidarity are the
currency of Exchange.
Previous artworks include Crude Events, Pop!
Goes the Weasel and After/noon Tea. In Crude Events Nancy donned a
mask and stormed a gallery with a paint-ball gun to shoot paint onto canvases
in a reflection of the price of crude oil during the 2002 build up to the War
in Iraq. For Pop! Goes the Weasel Nancy created a video of the surgical implantation
of her hands with RFID microchips as part of a larger installation that used RFID
badges to track visitors' positions in a gallery space. After/noon Tea was a performance
and installation that created community through the taking of tea. Each week for
six months Nancy dropped large hand-made tea bags, hot and dripping, onto table-cloths
in the preparation of tea to give to passers-by. The tablecloths were then hand-sewn
together in a reflection of the labour and active process of community building.
Nancy is well known for her interest in RFID technology and is the author
of "Resisting Surveillance: Identity and Implantable Microchips" and
"What do we get out of what we put into the Blueberry iBox". Her artwork
has been presented internationally including exhibits in the United States, Germany,
Japan and Thailand. She maintains an active international conference portfolio
and speaks on issues of art in connection with resistance, surveillance, human
rights, RFID technology, and identity.
Nancy is an Assistant Professor
in the Department of Art History & Visual Art at The University of British
Columbia and is the recipient of the 2002/2003 Peter Wall Early Career Scholar
Award. In 2004 Nancy was awarded the UBC Scholar in Residence at the Center for
Research in Women's Studies and Gender Relations and she continues to be an associate
Faculty member of the Centre.
Nancy received her MFA from the California
Institute of the Arts in Photography in 2000 and holds a BSc. in Genetics('91)
and a BEd. in Secondary Education('93). Now based in Vancouver, British Columbia,
Nancy continues to push the boundaries of technology, politics, human interaction
and identity while enjoying the beauty of west coast life.