Last words, so it goes
OPENING NIGHT // 9 June, 5-9pm // with performances from 6.30-8.30pm by artist Francis Patrick Brady // Free & open to all // BYOB
EXHIBITION CONTINUES // 10 June – 15 July // Open Tues – Sat, 11am-5pm
Sam Austen // Stephen Cornford // Louis Henderson // Sasha Litvintseva // Francis Patrick Brady // Linda Persson // Daniela Zahlner
Curated by Jack Friswell
Since the dawn of the digital, artists have been investigating the materiality of new technology and uncovering its craggy edges. New tribes are battling over virtual turf and others becoming extinct, leaving a landfill of virtual waste to rot and disappear. So, what myths and stories can be excavated and restored from these virtual artefacts?
Featuring the work of seven emerging and established artists, working across film, performance, sculpture and writing, Last words, so it goes presents some of the challenges, fears and solutions to unchartered digital legacies. Tied by their archaeological and shamanic methods of storytelling, each artist encourages the viewer to step into a space where virtual phenomena collide with the analogue.
Stephen Cornford’s Constant Linear Velocity explores the physical space of digital storage with an assemblage of obsolete computer shells. It features the opening and closing of a disk drive; reaffirming our relationship with specific technological moments. Meanwhile Louis Henderson’s film All that is Solid sets out to explore the circulation of illegally exported electronic devices between the West and the developing world. In Accra, Ghana, the artist finds one of Africa’s largest electronic graveyards, where local groups extract the mineral worth of our abandoned technology.
Sasha Litvintseva’s Immortality, home and elsewhere uses Google maps like a virtual safari. In it, the artist-narrator moves from one suspended place to the next as we learn about the artist’s own personal brush with a nuclear disaster. Similarly, A Door Has Opened, addresses the audience from a place outside of time. In his work with neon words and objects simultaneously frozen and moving in space, Sam Austen exposes the physical and transient nature of film.
Daniela Zahlner’s installation Keep Swimming looks at the body’s relationship with new technology and its potential to fragment, reshape and augment experiences both real and virtual. Another body part—the hand—features as a motif in the installation Cradle Game, in which Linda Persson explores the uncanny side of technology. Influenced by early cinema and witchcraft, the artist engages with the flaws and failures of her equipment.
On opening night (9 Jun, 5-9pm) from 6.30-8.30 Francis Patrick Brady will invite the audience to participate in a discussion and role-play performance entitled Universal Scenarios for Peace. Somewhere between a Greek temple and a future casino everyone will be welcome to join in and contribute towards the performance of peace.
Jack Friswell is a Bristol-based artist and curator who is a member of the artist collective Runaway Fleas and a co-founder of Turf Projects. He has worked with the Tate Collection and other National Archives on the preservation and display of film and digital artworks.
Supported by Arts Council England and Croydon Council