Sandrine Deumier

U.hotel (2015)

Natalie Wardle
Cocky and Contour (2016)

Simeon Banner

Client Server Relationship (2015)

Emma Connolly

Skin and Bone (2016)

Emigrate or Degenerate

The 31st online exhibition was called ‘Emigrate or Degenerate’, part of a quote from a government tag line in Philip K Dick’s renowned science-fiction book, ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’. The text comes from an advert, encouraging people to emigrate from Earth to Mars, to move towards a more networked reality. Within the context of the exhibition, I’m utilising the line in order to discuss post-humanist theories and the idea of the cyborg body, which is becoming more and more prevalent in life, as well as the artwork that people are creating in contemporary society. The exhibition is slightly dominated by Natalie Wardle’s video work ‘Cocky and Contour’ which sees the artist almost giving herself a second skin, layering on multiple coats of makeup as audio garnered from YouTube beauty bloggers is continually heard throughout the piece. Sandrine Deumier's exquisite video piece 'U.hotel' accompanies Wardle’s film, following an ambiguous character across various transformations and non-place locations, questioning the ambiguity of the trans-humanist vision. Simeon Banner's painting 'Client Server Relationship' depicts a figure, engrossed within the screen of their phone, seemingly unaware of their surroundings, already a cyborg because of their attachment to their technological device, as argued by Eula Biss in her book ‘On Immunity: An Inoculation’. The exhibition ends with Emma Connolly's painting 'Skin and Bone' that focuses on an internal body and the beauty of the organic form, bringing us back to the apparent present day formations of the human condition.

Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight