If Sally Field nursed a hope of dodging notice at the Whitney Museum of American Art this month, that hope was crushed when she stretched her 5-foot-3-inch frame on an outsize banquette, its cushioned surface an apparent invitation to relax.
It was no such thing, as Ms. Field soon discovered. The outline of her body had left a thermal impression captured in Day-Glo green on a nearby video screen, part of an interactive installation exploring mass surveillance by the artist and filmmaker Laura Poitras.
“This is seriously disturbing,” Ms. Field murmured and moved on. She was pretty well camouflaged for her outing in a well-worn plaid J. Crew shirt and Bottega Veneta black leather jacket, her garb a kind of youthfully understated urban armor.
Ms. Field, who first captivated a mass TV audience in the 1960s in “The Flying Nun,” has been long accustomed to a kind of informal surveillance. Blithely ignoring the gapes of passers-by, she headed toward the museum terrace, a favorite retreat of the actress, who routinely shuttles between her homes in Los Angeles and New York.
And a refuge as well from prying eyes. What do all those strangers make of her?
“I can’t tell,” Ms. Field said evenly. “They don’t treat me like a human being. They’re giving me different energy than if I had just been some older woman sitting next to them on a bus or riding in an elevator.”
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