Social Experiment # 9
June 16 to July 2
In Social Experiment # 9, three emerging Sydney artists interrogate the capacity of technology to alter, or distort social experience by determining the rhythm of movement, the modes of perception and interaction, and the range of potential outcomes available to technologically mediated existence. This examination is aimed not at the direct causal link between technology and its immediate outcomes, but by looking at the contextual and environmental impacts that assimilation of technologies has on how we experience the world around us. The change is most often unintentional, secondary and not immediately discernable, much in the same way that global warming is produced by the carbon based technologies intended to improve and vouchsafe human life on earth.
Aesha Henderson confront us out of a day to day perception dominated by virtualizing technologies through depicting in simple material diorama, scenes of war, themselves integrated into systems that virtualize the enemy (and the conflict) as a surrogate form of dehumanization. Her diorama is constructed with a materiality that insists on itself, and insists upon the viewer’s active physical participation, allowing none of the virtual distances that we are used to insulating ourselves with.
Tolmie MacRae uses multimedia to create spaces and experiences that disorient and refute our common perception of the relationship between the physical and the virtual, the representational and the literal space and subject. Using video monitors and movement sensors the artist creates a blind in which the viewer is trapped in relation to their own image – able to see themselves under conditions that are cancelled by the attempt to get ‘a better view’.
Kolet Hodgson reminds us that technology is not a new invention by choosing as her medium one of the oldest technologies known to man: clothing. We are so long habituated to this technology that it seamlessly conditions our being in the world, protecting us against both the elements of nature as well the social elements of society. Kolet’s work asks what demands and distortions does contemporary existence place on this ancient technology, and suggests potentials by which clothing might respond to the tendencies in commercial culture to produce homogenous, impersonal fashion objects that have no relation to their owner other than as a kind of identity-cypher.