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Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt the need to escape from the western world’s hyper connected virtual sphere, dreaming of leaving your technological devices behind as your physical body goes for a mindless walk into the unknown? When did this idea leave your consciousness, being brushed away by the ping of your iPhone, disrupting your brief encounter with the pre-internet manifestation of yourself and pulling you back into the reality of the now; you’re unable to function without your micro-computer in your pocket. For this weeks exhibition on isthisit?, marking one year of shows on the platform, ‘future.esc’ engages with artworks that embrace the internet of things, accepting the future whilst knowingly indulging in the analogue essence of the past. Gaia Fugazza’s painting ‘Birth in the river’ depicts a woman giving birth in the middle of a forest, assumedly at one with nature, whilst a man films the delivery on an iPad. This ongoing, increasingly subservient, relationship with machines is explored in Karl Sims web based artwork ‘Hyper World Tour’, where an ever-growing number of figures (which you can contribute to) are randomly placed in front of various locations taken from Google Maps, from a mountain road in upstate New York to a flowing downstream river in France. Explore the world through your screen, with locations chosen for you by the websites algorithm, not dissimilar to eBay tracking your viewing habits or Facebook keeping your private messages in a server farm. The final piece, a video by Kristina Pulejkova titled ‘Atom C’, compliments the other works by contributing a repetitive and melodic soundtrack whilst visualising the journey of a carbon atom, from its birth to becoming a part of the human consciousness. Carbon is an essential part of the Earth, from being in our food to partly powering our cars. It’s hard to imagine a life without carbon, and (for a millennial living in the western world) even harder to imagine a life without the internet…

Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight

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