OPENING SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17TH, 6 – 9PM @ BABYCASTLES
REVERSE and Babycastles are pleased to present their joint exhibition “Postdigital Ecosystems”, featuring works by art collectives Refrakt and Exonemo. The exhibition explores how the increasing digitalization of our everyday life, marked by the emergence of various new visual manifestations and the constant flow of data from and into our multiple screens like smartphones, computers, televisions, and billboards. These new dynamics have taken on their own lives becoming a seemingly autonomous ecosystems. We are connected even when we are offline, and whereas ubiquity used to be a quality of gods, it now seems to be a demand for mere humans in our networked society
The works in “Postdigital Ecosystems” look at the exchanges between the physical world and the digital world, questioning the boundaries between our biological reality and the technological virtuality. Exonemo and Refrakt examine how the lines between the physical world and the ether of the web are moving and blurring, while visualizing the overlaps between the digital and the analog. We might even wonder if the physical world is becoming an interface to the digital world.
The paradigm shift in technology has changed social values as well as every aspect of our ways of perception. Whereas there used to be an obvious difference between reality and virtual reality, these boundaries have started to blur and converging into eventually will make way to one big mixed reality. With smart technology and artificial intelligence having found its way into our homes and most intimate fields of our life, its overall role for society changed. In today’s world of constant connectedness, logging out has become an irregularity. We not only consume information and content but very actively participate, interact and generate more content. The user has become a participator. The exhibition puts the viewer in the spotlight while visualizing the ubiquitous digital space.
“Building Castles in the Cloud” is an augmented reality installation by Refrakt that explores the notion of constantly building castles in the cloud, always logged into digital space. The perfect world that contains our dreams and hopes is a romanticized version of the physical world we live in. Not only do we construct an artificial world, but also digital versions of ourselves inhabiting it.
“Refrakt”is an augmented reality app developed by the homonymous artists, enabling the viewer to perceive alternate realities in a virtual space by scanning real-life objects. He gets confronted with his own digital alter ego embedded into artifacts of a hyperreal paradise.
Exonemo will feature a selection of old and new work that reflects on how nowadays the Internet, networked 24/7 via smart phones, permeates our lives. Throughout our living space, the virtual screen and the actual space overlap indiscriminately. We are expected to function within this reality overlap, such as demonstrated so well by Pokemon Go. As the blurring continues, and it certainly will, we will come to question where our physical bodies lie, and where our hearts lie. For Exonemo screens are membranes between the actual and the information/ digital realms, and therefore, they explore the transference, intersections, and paradoxes between the informational and the material (including corporeal), through means including painting directly on screens.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Refrakt is formed by Carla Streckwall, Alexander Govoni and Michael Schröder. The digital space is ubiquitous, yet invisible to the naked human eye. Refrakt is a virtual museum revealing this increasingly relevant part of our daily lives and social interactions. By crossing the boundaries of physical space, various objects of all kinds of media play with the viewer’s perception of parallel realities. The devices used become an apparatus for this new world and lets the viewer interact with his immediate surroundings. While scanning real-life objects, the viewer will perceive alternate realities in a virtual space.
The artist unit e x o n e m o was formed in 1996 by AKAIWA Yae and SEMBO Kensuke. Their experimental projects are typically humorous and innovative explorations of the paradoxes of digital and analog computer networked and actual environments in our lives. Their The Road Movie won the Golden Nica for Net Vision category at Prix Ars Electronica 2006. They have been organizing the IDPW gatherings and “Internet Yami-Ichi” since 2012. They live and work in New York and are members of the first museum-led incubator NEW INC since 2015.
ABOUT THE CURATORS
Helena Acosta is a Venezuelan New Media Art curator, based in New York. Her work investigates and promotes social projects that take place within digital cultures. As curator, producer and creative director, she navigates the lines between art and activism. Her curatorial projects have received awards from Tokyo Wonder Site in Japan and the Generalitat of Catalunya in Spain. Helena is Cofounder of “Dismantling The Simulation,” a collective for visual activism and guerrilla actions that seek to question and dismantle the different discourses, events and information distribution schemes operating within Venezuela.
Andrea Wolf is a Chilean-born interdisciplinary artist living and working in New York. She creates multimedia installations that explore the relationship between personal memory and cultural practices of remembering. Andrea is the founder of REVERSE, a non profit art platform for the development of new ideas and interdisciplinary practices, promoting peer to peer knowledge exchange. Run by artists, REVERSE’s mission is to support innovative and boundary breaking projects that foster dialogue and artistic collaboration at the intersection of art, science and technology.
Joe Salina is a New York based Video Games Art curator. One of the founders of BabyCastles a collective with roots in New York’s D.I.Y. culture dedicated to building platforms for diversity in video games culture at every level from creators to consumers, connecting the independent game developer community with the broader New York art community, identifying exciting new voices in game creation from around the world and providing them exposure to new audiences.