Annie Abrahams will be working as an Artist in Residence at HTTP Gallery in January 2010. During the residency Abrahams will work on the production of three new works including live telematic and online networked performances to be presented as part of If not you not me at HTTP Gallery in February 2010.
Annie Abrahams (b. NL 1954, lives and works FR) is an internationally regarded pioneer of networked performance art. If not you not me at HTTP Gallery in London was the first solo exhibition of her work in the UK. While social networking sites make us think of communication as clean and transparent, Annie Abrahams creates an Internet of feeling – of agitation, collusion, ardour and apprehension.
The residency and exhibition are conceived in connection with Furtherfield’s Rich Networking project interrogating the transparency of communication, artistic collaboration and sociability through digital networks; and as part of Furtherfield’s three-year Media Art Ecologies programme which foregrounds practices sharing an ecological approach – an interest in the interrelation of technological and natural processes: beings and things, individuals and multitudes, matter and patterns.
Working with simple interfaces, disruptions in data-flow and carefully crafted instructions, Abrahams sensitises participants and audiences to glitches in communication and invites them to experience and reflect on different ways of being together in a machine-mediated world. The exhibition asks how we deal with the tensions of collaboration and physical separation as we negotiate relationships through video imagery, computer software and digital networks.
Annie Abrahams was born to a farming family in a rural village in the Netherlands. She obtained a doctorate in biology in 1978 and found that her observations of monkeys inspired curiosity about human interactions. After leaving an academic post, she trained as an artist and moved to France, where she became interested in using computers to construct and document her painting installations. She began experimenting with networked performance and making art for the Internet in the mid 1990s. Her work has since returned to the questions raised by the monkeys, concentrating on the possibilities and limitations of communication on the Internet. She has performed and shown work extensively in France, including at the Pompidou Centre, Paris, and in many international galleries including among others Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castelló, Spain; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art, Yerevan; festivals such as the Moscow Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam, and on online platforms such as Rhizome.org and Turbulence.