Everything is going to be fine*

April 8 – May 27, 2018

Artists: Camille Blatrix, Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, Nam June Paik, Emily Wardill

Curated by Thomas Patier

Everything is going to be fine sets out to examine the emotional charge of technology. In a divergent set of artworks spanning across mobile phone, sculpture, digital video and performance, each artist engages a technological object detached from pure utility, leaning towards a feeling-driven interaction with its user. At times caring, comical, or hostile, the depicted machines take on human-like personalities by serving as containers or channels for a variety of emotions: what artist Camille Blatrix has called “emotional objects.”

In Emily Wardill’s video I gave my love a cherry that had no stone (2016), an inquisitive drone and a CGI-distorted body are locked in a danse macabre, collapsing boundaries between human and machine. In photographs from Nam June Paik’s Robot K-456 “accident” (1982), the mechanical figure’s demise crystallizes both unease and laughter through a staged car crash on Madison Avenue, New York. In the Transborder Immigrant Tool (2007-) by the collective Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab, a Motorola cellphone designed to find water and safety in the US-Mexico borderland also offers poetic sustenance to its user. And, in Camille Blatrix’s Untitled (2017) sculptures, the device sheds its scripted sense of purpose in favor of a human restlessness, with the words Everything is going to be fine inscribed onto its surface, as if reassuring itself or the perplexed viewer.

Taking technology as a feeling-inflected mechanism, the exhibition points to the way that these works hold its utopian promise or potential, its role as a repository of memory and poetry, and its capacity to elicit profound anxieties and pessimism.

* from Camille Blatrix, Untitled (2017)

 

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