We are living in an age that is saturated by digital technology. Embedded into nearly every facet of our lives, digital devices have become an inescapable component of our day-to-day experiences, gradually changing not only the way we interact, but also the way we perceive, think and create. As our reality changes, many artists have also begun working with the medium, utilizing its inherent capabilities to reflect themes including collaboration, surveillance and intervention,
integral to the digital era. The artists and works in this exhibition offer a sample of some of the ways in which this ‘new media’ is being used, and range from relatively straight forward digital photography to, for example, computer generated moving images. They embrace the medium as a tool and, like paint or clay traditionally, use it to shape their visions of reality.
Memo Akten explores the collisions between man and machine. Fascinated by trying to understand the world and human nature, he investigates technology’s role in learning more about ourselves, how we connect with each other, and our relationship with nature, science, culture and tradition. Combining conceptual work with investigations into form, movement and sound he works across many disciplines including video, sound, light, dance, software, online works and large-scale immersive installations and performances. With a fascination and profound appreciation for mystery and the complexities of the unknown, Amanda Charchian produces images which are mystical, playful and sensual. She creates surreal and intimate landscapes to play out the recurring themes in her photographic work of nature and nudity, usually forming lasting and meaningful connections with the women she shoots.
Davy & Kristin McGuire create hybrid works with fragile materials that are momentarily brought to life through digital projections and silent storytelling. The pieces are magical glimpses into other worlds, often inspired by pre-cinema optical illusions, zoetropes or magic lanterns; they intrigue and mesmerise, drawing the viewer into a world where fantasy and reality become entwined.
With titles such as Darwinian Lines Mirror, PomPom Mirror and Weave Mirror, Daniel Rozin creates works that have the unique ability to change and respond to the presence and perspective of the viewer. Often the viewer is represented in the content of the piece or invited to take an active role in the creation of the work. Where computers and software are used in Rozin’s work, they are seldom visible, and what the viewer experiences is usually a form of his or her own reflection, physically articulated and dramatically abstracted. Margarida Sardinha creates work in the form of optical, abstract illusions. She is concerned with evealing underlying parallels between literature, religion and science, seeking out conscious ‘meaning’ through a process of photography, video and animation. The results are powerful and poetic. Yuri Suzuki is a sound artist, designer, electronic musician and DJ who produces work that explores the realms of sound through exquisitely designed pieces. His work does not sit neatly within any one discipline, and has moved seamlessly between gallery, agency, stage and screen.
Neil McConnon is currently Head of Barbican International Enterprises, Barbican Centre London. He has conceived and produced some of the most challenging and successful exhibitions in the Centre’s history, working with partners internationally, most recently Digital Revolution.