SEE IMAGES FROM THE PRIVATE VIEW
Beyond the Interface is an exhibition and series of events presented by Furtherfield, where leading international contemporary artists explore the technical devices that pervade our lives.
“The interface is the sense organ of the computer, whereby it becomes part of human culture” – Søren Bro Pold1
How much of our life do we spend in front of screens? Typically young adults in the UK spend more than a third of their waking lives watching TV or using computers, smartphones and tablets.2 These glowing rectangles are just one interface through which we contribute to the growing global human-machine network.
Nowadays a multitude of sensors proliferate in these same devices along with the chips and transmitters that are embedded in all consumer goods. Our actions are tracked, our utterances and exchanges are monitored, and our behaviours inform the design of future media, systems and products. This is the cybernetic loop.
The interface is the boundary across which information is exchanged, causing a transformation in one or both sides of that boundary. Between individuals, corporations and states; beliefs and disciplines; components of computer systems; or machines and living beings. Interfaces have always been a site of control, hidden in plain view: symbolic, social or technological. Seduced and habituated, we forget to question how we are dominated and reprogrammed by the very facilities that are supposed to free us as part of the digital revolution. Lori Emerson suggests this is an “overwhelming push to disempower users/consumers with closed devices”.3
As you approach Furtherfield Gallery in the middle of London’s Finsbury Park, you will notice that the external walls have been transformed into an immersive installation of lush, rippling images of water lilies, leaves and other organic forms. Giverny Remediated is an installation of performative prints by Nathaniel Stern (US) continuing his ‘Compressionism’ series of work. Part of Stern’s Compressionist series, this work references Monet’s immersive painting installation Water Lilies, painted a century ago, only in this case the artist has strapped a hacked scanner to his body in order to create the works.
“Compressionism follows the trajectory of Impressionist painting, through Surrealism to Postmodernism, but rather than citing crises of representation, reality or simulation, my focus is on performing all three in relation to each other.”4
In a new commission Stern will create ‘Rippling Images of Finsbury Park’, a new public artwork created in the boating lake (which sits adjacent to Furtherfield Gallery). The artworks will be available to download by public USB installed in the Gallery walls as part of Dead Drop, the offline, anonymous, file sharing, peer to peer, network.5
Visitors can also download the essay that sets out many of the concepts behind this exhibition. ‘Interface Perception – The Cybernetic Mentality and Its Critics: ubermorgen.com’ by Søren Bro Pold (editor of Interface Criticism, Aesthetics Beyond Buttons) explores how we perceive interfaces and the role that art has to play in making technology more feelable.
Beyond The Interface – London is a remix of an exhibition co-curated by Furtherfield with Julian Stadon for ISMAR 2014, the International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality, that took place in Munich in September 2014.
Happening alongside this exhibition
Scan the park
Dates June-July to be confirmed, Furtherfield Gallery
Workshops for all ages to hack your own scanner. Create your own rippling images of Finsbury Park based on the Nathaniel Stern commission. Also chance to show your work in Furtherfield Gallery. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to join the waiting list.
Telluro-geo-psycho-modulator workshop and field trip with Jonathan Kemp
2-3 May, Furtherfield Commons
How are our brain states modulated by the interference patterns created by our immersion in natural weak geomagnetic fields?
Living Assemblies – Design Your Silken Self
6 – 7 June, Furtherfield Commons
In partnership with The Arts Catalyst. A hands-on workshop with Veronica Ranner, investigating the coupling of the biological material silk, with digital technologies
WWW TV installation, Web We Want Festival
28-31 May, Southbank Centre, London
Featuring Grey Matter by Jennifer Chan and Facial Weaponization Communiqué: Fag Face by Zach Blas against a bank of monitors displaying videos found on the Web of contextual media, systems and products.
Back to the Future
Sunday 31 May 17:00 – 18:00, Queen Elizabeth Hall Front Room
To close the Web We Want festival, Jude Kelly CBE, Artistic Director of Southbank Centre is joined by Renata Avila (Web Foundation), Sarah T Gold (Alternet, WikiHouse Foundation) Ruth Catlow (Furtherfield) to recap the festival and look towards the next 25 years of the Web – what’s in store for the future and how can we make an impact on the shape of the Web?
Symposium: Designing Digital Creative Commons for the Performing Arts
Digital tools for communication, artistic collaboration, sharing and co-creation between artists, and creative audiences. Booking info to follow soon.
Museum of Contemporary Commodities
Running parallel to the exhibition is an artistic research project by Paula Crutchlow and Dr Ian Cook, exploring trade justice issues by presenting the things we buy today, as the heritage of tomorrow.
Walkshop led by data activist Dr Alison Powell
7 May 6-8.30pm, Furtherfield Commons
To find out more about the local retail environment, local commodities, trade-justice and data processes in Finsbury Park. As part of the Museum of Contemporary Commodities.
Commodity Culture social event
Saturday 13 June 11am-3pm, Furtherfield Commons
Drop-in for cake and a cup of something, and a chat about trade and exchange in Finsbury Park. Open to everyone. As part of the Museum of Contemporary Commodities.
Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and curator whose work engages technology, queerness, and politics. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art at the University at Buffalo. His work has been written about and featured in Art Review, Frieze, Art Papers, Hyperallergic, Rhizome, Mousse Magazine, The Atlantic, Al Jazeera America, The New Inquiry, Leonardo Electronic Almanac, and Wired. http://www.zachblas.info/
Branger_Briz are artists, educators && programmers bent on articulating our digital landscape creating memorable interactive projects for themselves && clients. To them contemporary culture means digital culture. They are driven by a desire to share our digital literacies, so their work tends to be public-facing && leverage new-media. They specialise in producing custom projects from concept >> design >> development >> launching/sharing && love every step in the process.
Mez Breeze is an Australian-based artist and practitioner of net.art, working primarily with code poetry, electronic literature, and digital multimedia works combining text, code, image and sound. Born Mary- Anne Breeze, she uses a number of avatar nicknames, including Mez and Netwurker. As of May 2014, Mez is the only digital writer who’s a non- USA citizen to have her comprehensive career archive (called “The Mez Breeze Papers”) housed at Duke University, through their David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Heath Bunting was born a Buddhist in Wood Green, London, UK and is able to make himself laugh. (currently, reduced to only smile) He is a co-founder of both net.art and sport-art movements and is banned for life from entering the USA for his anti genetic work. His self taught and authentically independent work is direct and uncomplicated and has never been awarded a prize. He is both Britain’s most important practising artist and the World’s most famous computer artist.
Jennifer Chan makes remix videos, gifs and websites that contend with gendered affects of media culture. Chan had solo presentations at the Marshall McLuhan Salon in the Embassy of Canada in Berlin for Transmediale 2013 (Germany), Future Gallery (Berlin), Images Festival (Toronto), Vox Populi (Philadelphia) and recently LTD (Los Angeles). She has a HBA in Communications, Culture, Information Technology from University of Toronto and a MFA in Art Video from Syracuse University. Chan was born in Ottawa, raised in Hong Kong, and is now based in Chicago. She co-organizes Dorkbot Chicago and helps women learn code at Girl Develop It. http://jennifer-chan.com/
Francesca da Rimini explores the poetic and political possibilities of collaborative (tel)embodied play. Early net projects include GashGirl, FleshMeat and the award-winning labyrinth dollspace. As cyberfeminist VNS Matrix member she inserted slimy interfaces into Big Daddy Mainframe’s databanks, perturbing the (gendered) techno status quo. Her doctoral thesis at the University of Technology Sydney investigated three diverse cultural activism projects seeding the formation of new collective subjects. She has co-authored Disorder and the Disinformation Society: The Social Dynamics of Information, Networks and Software (Routledge 2015). http://gashgirl.sysx.org
Genetic Moo (Nicola Schauerman and Tim Pickup) have been creating individual interactive art works for over 5 years. They create Microworlds, digital ecosystems and living installations that are always changing, mutating, and evolving in front of your eyes. Both gained Masters degrees from the Lansdown Centre for Electronic Arts. They have exhibited extensively in galleries, festivals and museums.
Nathaniel Stern is an artist and writer, Fulbright grantee and professor, interventionist and public citizen. He has produced and collaborated on projects ranging from ecological, participatory and online interventions, interactive, immersive and mixed reality environments, to prints, sculptures, videos, performances and hybrid forms.
His book, Interactive Art and Embodiment: The Implicit Body as Performance, takes a close look at the stakes for interactive and digital art, and his ongoing work in industry has helped launch dozens of new businesses, products and ideas.
Beyond the Interface – Artists Panel
Web We Want Festival – Southbank Centre
28-31 May 2015
Chair – Ruth Catlow
McKenzie Pavilion, Finsbury Park
London N4 2NQ
T: +44 (0)20 8802 2827
Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Contact Ruth Catlow, Furtherfield