Yezbick investigates digital surveillance, contemporary morals, and the ties between private property and structural racism in this 47-minute experimental documentary, Epicurus’ Conundrum. The film’s main subject, Dale Brown, is owner and commander of Detroit Threat Management Center, a private security firm that patrols the neighborhood where Yezbick’s parents live. Threat Management Center adopts intimidating paramilitary aesthetics and employs de-escalation tactics and defensive martial arts to deter crime. The video is organized around a dialogue between Yezbick and Brown recorded in Brown’s tactical Hummer during a neighborhood surveillance ride-along. Echoing the form of a Socratic dialogue, the conversation veers from family to regional histories, moral beliefs and the root of evil. Interspersed are shots of found footage, Brown’s own footage of patrolling, officer training, and victim testimonials, and 3D rendered images produced using photogrammetry - a military, forensic, and video game photo mapping technology.
Rachel Yezbick is a Los Angeles based, visual artist whose work grapples with contemporary morals in the face of decentralized global conflict. Through video, performance, installation and drawing, Yezbick explores culturally specific ideologies that shape desires of belonging, intimacy and aspiration. She has taught at numerous colleges and universities, has moderated panels with esteemed pioneers in art and technology, and is a published author. Yezbick’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions in Glasgow, Scotland and Los Angeles, and in group exhibitions in Los Angeles, Indiana, New York, Glasgow and Melbourne, Australia.