“Body Preservation” considers the uploading of content onto online communication platforms as a method of conserving and archiving our bodies. However, as new technologies become redundant and the industrial structures that contain the seemingly immaterial Internet begin to degrade, the exhibition examines the temporality of these archives. Jillian Mayer’s “MegaMega Upload” is an excerpt taken from “#PostModem”, a satirical musical that envisions the technological singularity of our imminent future. Mayer employs the DIY aesthetic of the vlogs and instructional ‘how-to’ videos that frequent Youtube when inviting her viewers to join her in transcendence. However, this aesthetic breaks down the Utopian aura surrounding future technology, instead implying limitation and fragility. In “EGO LIBIDO XVIII: Losing Myself”, Keaton Fox questions social media platforms as a digital void; a forum in which information is neither received or rejected, but simply exists. Alluding to the banality and lack of individualisation that is a common feature of its content, Fox presents an archive that becomes lost within the interchangeable masses. Jaimie Warren’s “Self-portrait with Torn Mouth and Milk” is taken from a larger series of GIFs that appropriate moments from horror cinema history. The exaggerated B movie aesthetic complements the immediacy of the medium, whilst, in the context of this exhibition, its graphic nature conjures the ‘body in a jar’ scenes of early scientific experiments in preservation. As a strong and easily digested form of visual communication, GIFs move virally, rising and falling in rapid trends that now last no more than a few hours - an urgent expression that is soon forgotten. Through the appropriation of content into a contemporary medium, Warren highlights to the viewer that, as the rate of technological advancement increases, our means of expression can quickly becomes outdated as formats inevitably become inaccessible.
Curated by Jake Moore