Susan Jahoda

Mixed media, 8.5” x 10.5", 2009-2011


Remote Sensing is a project that entails walking as an aesthetic and critical practice. The title “Remote Sensing,” is borrowed from scientific disciplines, and refers to the gathering of data without actual contact with the materials or objects being studied. I adapt the phrase as a reading technique meant to counter, if you will, the perception of a surrounding reality as a seamless, continuous visual surface.


I begin by spending one day reviewing the contents of a book that remains central to my studio practice. Each book then functions as my primary sensing guide in apprehending space in relationship to my body. I then map out a walk to a destination suggested by the book’s texts and/or images. Each walk taken is documented with the title of the book, date, time of day, route and destination, recorded thoughts, performances, encounters, and images that I make. The information is then compiled and formatted as a series of digital pages.




Remote Sensing questions the popular consensus on the primacy of the performative side of language. It does so through an aesthetic practice that relies on theory, is urban-based, but also “senses” a widening gap between language and the lived experience of embodied people. Remote Sensing is a record of an acute awareness in which Jahoda is simultaneously sensitized to the double message of openness/accessibility and silence coming from her socio-cultural surroundings: body languages and architecture sensitize her to accessibility, limits, the uninterpretable. The uninterpretable, is the lack of a telling (Who goes there, where, why), in the midst of an excess of telling (the hallucinatory fabrications of capital), of a sprawling linguistic membrane that presses intimately against the body only to deny its fleshy status”.


                                      Mena Mitrano, author of Gertrude Stein: Woman Without Qualities