This exhibition by Mark Amerika (US) and Shu Lea Cheang (US/FR) at Furtherfield Gallery marks a significant moment for contemporary art. Amerika and Cheang are both 'net native' artists. They share many of the obsessions of the growing multitude of artists who have grown up with the net since the early 1990s.
They are also big "names" - internationally established artists who regularly show their work, to critical acclaim, at contemporary art galleries around the world. They have crossed over into the mainstream art world whilst maintaining a critical edge.
Amerika is a media artist, novelist, and theorist of Internet and remix culture, named a "Time Magazine 100 Innovator" in their continuing series of features on the most influential artists, scientists, entertainers and philosophers into the 21st Century.
Cheang is a multimedia artist who works with net-based installation, social interface and film production. She has been a member of the Paper Tiger Television collective since 1981 and BRANDON, a project exploring issues of gender fusion and techno-body, was an early web-based artwork commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum (NY) in 1998.
Both artists continue to shape and be shaped by contemporary networked media art cultures of remix, glitch, social and environmental encounters.
Shu Lea Cheang and Mark Amerika at Furtherfield Gallery provides a physical interface in a local setting in the heart of a North London park to the thriving, international, networked art scene.
The exhibition features Cheang's UKI viral love installation and Composting the Net. These are shown alongside pieces from The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics (MOGA), Amerika's latest work in his collaborative series of transmedia narratives.
UKI viral love (2009 - ongoing) - Shu Lea Cheang
The exhibition features large stills from two performance installations. UKI viral love is the sequel to Cheang's acclaimed cyberpunk movie I.K.U. (premiered at Sundance Film Festival, 2000) conceived in two parts - a viral performance and a viral game. The story is about coders dispatched by the Internet porn enterprise, GENOM Corp, to collect human orgasm data for mobile phone plug-ins and consumption. In a post-net crash era they become data deprived and these coders are suddenly dumped into an e-trashscape environment where coders, twitters, networkers are forced to scavenge from techno-waste.
UKI - Trash Mistress [Radíe Manssour] (2009) by Shu Lea Cheang - Photo by Rocio Campana
In 2009, Cheang moved into the art studio at Barcelona's Hangar medialab with 4 tons of E-trash, collected in Barcelona's city recycling plant in one day. Amidst the rubble of wires, cables, boards, keyboards and computers, along with the coders and the hackers, UKI the defunct replicants are part of the e-trashscape seeking parts and codes to resurrect themselves.
UKI viral love is developed with collaborations and residencies at HangarBCN [artistas residentes] (Barcelona, Spain), Medialab Prado [Playlab] & [Desvisulizar] (Madrid, Spain) and, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial [Plataforma Cero] (Gijón, Spain). The work presented at Furtherfield Gallery is the first physical installation of UKI in a gallery setting.
Composting The Net (2012) - Shu Lea Cheang
Composting the Net sources Internet net cultures’ accumulated data. It appropriates open (un)moderated mailing list communities, used for collaboration, sharing information and dialogue, and reprocesses the information into a virtual compost. For this exhibition Cheang composts the Spectre mailing list, a channel for practical information and exchange for media art and culture in "Deep Europe", initiated in August 2001. The abundant info-data is reused and given extra life - an artistic legacy beyond its original purpose. It is also a celebration of the independent spirit of net culture that exists outside of corporate dominated Web 2.0 platforms such as Facebook.
Composting The Net (2012) by Shu Lea Cheang
The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics - MOGA (2012) - Mark Amerika
Amerika's The Museum of Glitch Aesthetics (MOGA) features the work of The Artist 2.0, an online persona whose personal mythology and body of digital artworks are rapidly being canonized into the annals of art history. The narrative traces the life of the artist and his ongoing commitment to a practice of ‘glitch aesthetics’. MOGA features a wide array of artworks intentionally corrupted by technological processes, including net art, digital video art, digitally manipulated still images, game design, stand-up comedy, sound art, and electronic literature.
Lake Como Remix, MOGA (2012) by Mark Amerika
Museum of Glitch Aesthetics was commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices for the 2012 AND Festival.
8-Bit Heaven (London-Soho 3) by Mark Amerika
In conjunction with Shu Lea Cheang and Mark Amerika exhibition opening, Furtherfield is pleased to host Shu Lea Cheang's Seeds Underground Party on Saturday 31 August, 2-5pm. Join us for a seed exchange party where packets of seeds change hands and go underground in the fields around Finsbury Park.
+ More information about the Seeds Underground Party.
To coincide with the exhibition, on Monday 02 September The White Building hosts a special talk by Shu Lea Cheang who will be in conversation with curator and writer Omar Kholeif.
+ More information about the Event.
Mark Amerika’s work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Whitney Biennial of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and the Walker Art Center. In 2009-2010, The National Museum of Contemporary Art in Athens, Greece, hosted Amerika’s comprehensive retrospective exhibition entitled UNREALTIME. He is the author of many books including remixthebook (University of Minnesota Press, 2011) and his collection of artist writings entitled META/DATA: A Digital Poetics (The MIT Press, 2007). Amerika is a Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Principal Research Fellow in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at La Trobe University.
Shu Lea Cheang
As an artist, conceptualist, filmmaker, networker, Shu Lea Cheang (USA/France) constructs networked installation and multi-player performance in participatory impromptu mode. She drafts sci-fi narratives in her film scenario and artwork imagination. She builds social interface and open network that permits public participation. Engaged in media activism with transgressive plots for two decades (the 80s and 90s) in New York City, Cheang concluded her NYC period with the first Guggenheim Museum web art commission/collection BRANDON (1998-1999). Cheang has expanded her cross-genre-gender borderhack performative works since relocating in Eurozone in 2000. Currently situated in post-net BioNet zone, Cheang is composting the city, the net while mutating virus and hosting seeds underground parties.
McKenzie Pavilion, Finsbury Park
London N4 2NQ
T: +44 (0)20 8802 2827
Furtherfield Gallery is supported by Haringey Council and Arts Council England.
This exhibition is sponsored by