Featured image: ‘Angry Women’ by Annie Abrahams, 2011. (From photograph by Michael Szpakowski)
Opening Event: Saturday 25 February 2012, 1-4pm
Open Thu – Sat 12 noon – 3pm
Being Social is the opening exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park in North London. Furtherfield has established an international reputation as London’s first gallery for networked media art since 2004. With this exciting move to a more public space Furtherfield invites artists and techies – amateurs, professionals, celebrated stars and private enthusiasts – to engage with local and global, everyday and epic themes in a process of imaginative exchange.
This exhibition brings together artworks by emerging and internationally acclaimed artists: Annie Abrahams, Karen Blissett, Ele Carpenter, Emilie Giles, moddr_ , Liz Sterry and Thomson and Craighead.
Since the mid-90s computers have changed our way of being together. First the Internet then mobile networks have grown as cultural spaces for interaction – wild and banal, bureaucratic and controlling – producing new ways of ‘being social’. Visitors are invited to view art installations, software art, networked performances and to get involved with creative activities to explore how our lives – personal and political – are being shaped by digital technologies.
Free activities for all ages (booking advisable) Saturday 10-1pm
Embroidered Digital Commons with Ele Carpenter and Emilie Giles
Furtherfield invites all gallery visitors to take part in one or more of our Saturday morning embroidery sessions and come together to stitch a term from the Raqs Media Collective’s text ‘A Concise Lexicon of/for the Digital Commons’ (2003), chosen in relation to the specific theme of the Being Social exhibition at Furtherfield Gallery. Throughout March and April 2012.
To book a place please contact Alessandra Scapin firstname.lastname@example.org +44 (0) 2088022827
Annie Abrahams has a doctorate in biology from the University of Utrecht and a degree from the Academy of Fine Arts of Arnhem. In her work, using video, performance as well as the internet, she questions the possibilities and the limits of communication in general and more specifically investigates its modes under networked conditions. She is an internationally regarded pioneer of networked performance art. 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.
Karen Blissett was born on the 3rd of May 1991, on the same day that the first successful double head-heart transplant was being carried out in a hospital in London. Her parents are the neoist artists Karen Eliot and Luther Blissett. They are only interested in art and politics, not in how Karen spends her days on the Internet.
Ele Carpenter is a curator based in London. Her creative and curatorial practice investigates specific socio-political cultural contexts in collaboration with artists, makers, amateurs and experts. She is a lecturer in Curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Since 2005 Ele has facilitated the Open Source Embroidery project using embroidery and code as a tool to investigate the language and ethics of participatory production and distribution. The Open Source Embroidery exhibition (Furtherfield, 2008; BildMuseet Umeå Sweden, 2009; Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco, 2010) presented work by over 30 artists, including the finished Html Patchwork now on display at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. Ele is currently facilitating the ‘Embroidered Digital Commons’ a distributed embroidery exploring collective work and ownership 2008 – 2013.
Emilie Giles is an alumnus of MA Interactive Media: Critical Theory and Practice at Goldsmiths College. Since graduating in 2010 her time has been spent co-organising MzTEK, a women’s technology and arts collective, as well as completing an internship with arts group Blast Theory and working for social video distributors Unruly. She is currently involved with TESTIMONIES, a project which explores oral history in relation to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games largely through social media.
Emilie’s own practice revolves around notions of pervasive gaming, married with urban exploration and psychogeography. Her most recent focus lies in taking fundamental gaming principles from Geocaching and exploring the consequences of adding an emotional dimension.
moddr_ is a Rotterdam-based media/hacker/co-working space and DIY/FOSS/OSHW fablab for artgeeks, part of the venue WORM: Institute for Avantgardistic Recreation. Since being founded in 2007 by alumni of the Piet Zwart Institute (department of “Networked Media“) they host and promote young local and international talent with a focus on the artistic modification (’modding‘) of contemporary and emerging technology. moddr_ represents a critical attitude in our ‘new’-medialandscape through spawning and development of artistic projects, workshop series, lectures, exhibitions and of course good parties.
Liz Sterry is an Essex based artist currently completing a Digital Art and Design degree at Writtle College. Liz works using different mediums including performance photography, video and installations. Communication has now become a key theme in her work. She aspires to make art that invites people to question what they think they already know.
Thomson and Craighead
Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead are artists living and working in London. They make artworks and installations which are shown in galleries, online and sometimes outdoors. Much of their recent work looks at live networks like the web and how they are changing the way we all understand the world around us. Their work has been shown in major international exhibitions and is part of public collections at Harris Museum and British Council Collection. They are shortlisted artists for the Samsung Art Prize 2012. Recent awards include Current (2011) and Vital Spark (2005). Having both studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Jon now lectures part time at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, while Alison is a senior researcher at University of Westminster and lectures in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University.
Four spaces – the Park, the Gallery, the Common Room, the www
Furtherfield’s new gallery at McKenzie Pavilion is located in a highly animated area of Finsbury Park next to a boating pond and adventure playground, near to the café and athletics track. The richly connected diversity of people, creatures, plants, activities, enthusiasms alive in the park provides the context and the inspiration for Furtherfield. The pavilion has two rooms.
The Gallery, which will display evocative and provocative exhibitions of selected contemporary artwork that address technology and social change drawing on Furtherfield’s international network of artists.
The Common Room, which will display work contributed by open call in response to exhibition themes, curated with local people. It will also act as the base for a series of free activities for local schools and visitors to the park.
Finally the www connects local users to an international network of enthusiasts, experts and audiences. It provides a place for people to share their artworks, proposals, ideas and commentaries. It will also provide access to further information about exhibitions, including downloadable catalogues and essays, information about programmes of free events and activities, and a living archive of all past work.
Furtherfield will exhibit the best of contemporary work in art, technology and social change in a truly ‘public’ space, developed with and for local residents and users of the park, and wider participants and audiences. Ultimately, we are looking for ways for local people and visitors to the park and from further afield to use this art space imaginatively together, and to connect with our international community of artists, designers, thinkers and technologists.
McKenzie Pavilion, Finsbury Park
London N4 2NQ
T: +44 (0)20 8802 2827
Furtherfield Gallery is supported by Haringey Council and Arts Council England