TEAR THIS CARD IN HALF TO RELEASE YOUR FREE SAMPLE
If you're interested in taking part in this show (highly inspired by Snowcrash by N. Stephenson), please get in touch via the form below.
Inspired by the cyberpunk novel “Snowcrash”, the exhibition "Tear this card in half to release your free sample” explores cyberspace and colonization via the concept of virus. Leaping from the bubonic plague to Facebook’s usage of VR to generate empathetic engagement, five artists converge to map the infectious net of the cybernetical matrix that shapes our posthuman world.
-"Hey Hiro, you want to try some Snow Crash?" (...)
-"Does it fuck up your brain?" Hiro says. "Or your computer?"
-"Both. Neither. What's the difference?"
In the cyberpunk novel “Snowcrash” by N. Stephenson, Raven, the villain, comes to town to unleash a virus against hackers. When the hacker tears open the hypercard, a visual binary code overpowers the host and bootstraps the hacker's brain via the optic nerve, thereby reducing them to a catatonic state.
In the world of “Snowcrash”, humans are like computing machines, comparable to BIOS (Basic Input Output System), and therefore are programmable. When “Snowcrash” was published in 1992, Apple just released their first laptop and personal computers were on the verge of becoming a household item. What is the state of our contemporary cyberspace? How far did the Snowcrash virus - or shall we call it FAAA for Facebook, Alphabet, Apple, Amazon - contaminate us? As the past has taught us, our relationship with technology is paradoxical and with each new tool comes a myriad of scripted accidents and responsibilities. What price will we pay for leaving our minds up to the cheapest trojan horses from the most intrusive corporations?
"Tear this card in half to release your free sample" is an exhibition that explores cyberspace and colonization via the concept of virus. Contemporary discourses often celebrate cyberspace as a terra incognita; a new world for the human mind to settle. On the flip side, there are peculiar side-effects as cyberspace colonizes the human mind and reshapes our technological nonconscious (Thrift, 2004). The exhibition constructs a relational space between artworks by visionary media artists Alexey Kashpersky, Erin Ko, and Sutu Eats Flies; street art pioneer Speedy Graphito; and research-based transmedia artist Beatrice Glow, to address the paradoxical alchemy and phagic relationship humans perpetuate with technology (and vice-versa). Leaping from the bubonic plague to Facebook’s usage of virtual reality to generate empathetic engagement, this dream-like experience brings together traditional and emergent media to map the infectious net of the cybernetical matrix that shapes our posthuman world.
Currently gaining international traction for his use of virtual reality (VR) to reenvision famous movie scenes, new media artist Sutu Eats Flies (Australia) has re-created a scene from Snowcrash in VR for this show. His 3D environment 'Virus' leads the viewer into the 'Black Sun' (a club located in the novel’s Metaverse) when the world’s top hacker gets infected by the most sinister virus of all.
CG artist Alexey Kashpersky (New York) is the recipient of numerous CG awards, and has created a mesmerizing 360° video 'Hepatitis C Virus'. This video portrays highly detailed morphological forms of the HCV virus to expose the hidden dangers of an undiagnosed infection. The visceral and immersive reality of coming face to face with the bloodborne pathogen demands the viewer to acknowledge its virulent and invasive power.
Interdisciplinary artist Beatrice Glow (New York) has been walking in the footsteps of early explorers. She uncovers how the first traders continue to shape our present through their establishment of globalized networks that circulated luxury goods (silk, spices, opium, tobacco etc), but also slaves, diseases, and memes. Recently, as a organic result of her work on trade and pirates, Glow's digital silk print “Banda Island Archipelago (Nutmeg)” got hacked and reappropriated for commercial usage. At the intersection of digital art and media archaeology of botanical life, Glow's work highlights the making of History as the actualization of a constellation of vir(tu)al forces.
Street art pioneer Speedy Graphito (Paris and Miami) decodes the collective unconscious and our basic programming level by superimposing poetic dimensions on the norms and principles of Western cultural identity. While his recent works are mostly figurative with references to popular culture, corporate logos and comic characters, for this show he will present 'Experimental Landscape,' an acrylic painting channeling a peacock’s perspective into a Google-branded Acid trip.
Visual artist Erin Ko (New York) combines traditional art making methods with new media to address our complicated love/hate relationship with technology. In recent years, as it has become increasingly easy for the general public to access information about their genome –their personal codex— many questions and ethical concerns have been, and continue to be, raised. ‘Rock Gods and Genomes' is a stained glass series that explores humanity's obsession with immortality and the code of life.
From exploring bioethics, treading feedback loops, manifesting a psychedelic vision, and entering the screen to become a cyborg, the convergence of these artists forges new viral networks. It is a contagious force that spins our realities inside out until boundaries are undistinguishable with no clear beginning and end.
“A real work of art destroys, in the consciousness of the receiver, the separation between himself and the artist.” (Tolstoy, 1897).