Contemporary Art in the Americas Arte Contemporáneo en las Américas

Then They Form Us

Curated by Brooke Kellaway

Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, California, USA 08/09/2015 – 10/25/2015

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This fall, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) presents Then They Form Us, a group exhibition that explores the precarious status of the “self” during its pixelated or roboticized evolution — as computers increasingly co-opt the human body during an age of ultra-connectivity. The six artists in the exhibition create works that question the ways in which identities are altered within this digital realm. Participating artists include Xavier Cha (b. 1980, Los Angeles, CA); Constant Dullaart (b. 1979, Leiderdorp, NL); Cécile B. Evans (b. 1983, Cleveland, OH); Devin Kenny (b. 1987, Chicago, IL); Hayal Pozanti (b. 1983, Istanbul, TR); and Julien Prévieux (1974, Grenoble, FR). This exhibition is organized by Brooke Kellaway, MCASB Associate Curator.

Then They Form Us refers to an adage from philosopher Marshall McLuhan’s influential book, Understanding Media (1964), in which he writes on various technologies as extensions of ourselves that influence our position in and experience of the world (1). His prescient thinking resonates at a time when the mutation of computers into mans and vice versa is being radically innovated by the intelligence of machines and their users. In recognizing the tension between both the allure and threat of new technologies — from social media to affective computing — the artists in this exhibition address the morphing body by way of the body, using performance, video, painting, and sculpture to investigate its physical and cognitive adaptations. The work on view will navigate the territory of online culture, where personal data, expressions, behavior, and emotions can be stored and processed in recondite or veiled operations that often impede authority over our own information.

“Perceptions of physicality, autonomy, and community are terrifically destabilized and challenged in this exhibition,” says Brooke Kellaway, MCASB Associate Curator. “These artists address, in acutely clever ways, complex questions about the transmutations happening to ourselves as we’re increasingly interconnected with today’s computer technologies.”


(1) The author writes, “we shape our tools, and thereafter, our tools shape us.” In Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (Cambridge: MIT Press), 1994

http://mcasantabarbara.org/

Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

DSCN3508 copy

DSCN3534

DSCN3540 copy

This fall, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara (MCASB) presents Then They Form Us, a group exhibition that explores the precarious status of the “self” during its pixelated or roboticized evolution — as computers increasingly co-opt the human body during an age of ultra-connectivity. The six artists in the exhibition create works that question the ways in which identities are altered within this digital realm. Participating artists include Xavier Cha (b. 1980, Los Angeles, CA); Constant Dullaart (b. 1979, Leiderdorp, NL); Cécile B. Evans (b. 1983, Cleveland, OH); Devin Kenny (b. 1987, Chicago, IL); Hayal Pozanti (b. 1983, Istanbul, TR); and Julien Prévieux (1974, Grenoble, FR). This exhibition is organized by Brooke Kellaway, MCASB Associate Curator.

Then They Form Us refers to an adage from philosopher Marshall McLuhan’s influential book, Understanding Media (1964), in which he writes on various technologies as extensions of ourselves that influence our position in and experience of the world (1). His prescient thinking resonates at a time when the mutation of computers into mans and vice versa is being radically innovated by the intelligence of machines and their users. In recognizing the tension between both the allure and threat of new technologies — from social media to affective computing — the artists in this exhibition address the morphing body by way of the body, using performance, video, painting, and sculpture to investigate its physical and cognitive adaptations. The work on view will navigate the territory of online culture, where personal data, expressions, behavior, and emotions can be stored and processed in recondite or veiled operations that often impede authority over our own information.

“Perceptions of physicality, autonomy, and community are terrifically destabilized and challenged in this exhibition,” says Brooke Kellaway, MCASB Associate Curator. “These artists address, in acutely clever ways, complex questions about the transmutations happening to ourselves as we’re increasingly interconnected with today’s computer technologies.”


(1) The author writes, “we shape our tools, and thereafter, our tools shape us.” In Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media (Cambridge: MIT Press), 1994

http://mcasantabarbara.org/

Courtesy of Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara

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