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Player Piano

Opening 5th May, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
6th May – 2nd June 2023, open weekdays, 12:00 - 4:00 pm or by appointment
The Art Station, 48 High Street, Saxmundham, Suffolk, IP17 1AB, United Kingdom

The Art Station is excited to present Player Piano, a group exhibition featuring new and previous works from 6 UK based artists, including Kara Chin, Kumbirai Makumbe, Catinca Malaimare, Emily Mulenga, Petra Szemán and Rafał Zajko. Curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight.

Player Piano is an exhibition concerned with different forms of technology, exploring the digital and physical devices that we use on a daily basis whilst considering the tools of the recent past and how human beings will function in the future.

The title of the exhibition takes its name from the Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel of the same name, published in 1952. The novel depicts a dystopia of automation partly inspired by the author's time working at General Electric, describing the negative impact technology can have on quality of life. The story takes place in a near-future society that is almost totally mechanized, eliminating the need for human laborers.

The exhibition’s theme connects to the location, at The Art Station in Saxmundham, Suffolk, a building that was once a telephone exchange employing around fifty people at its height. As the hardware of technology decreased in size, and the need for people manning the exchange was surpassed by new digital technologies, large areas of the building became disused in the 1980s, and its role became unclear.

The works included in Player Piano highlight both new and old forms of technology, reconstructing and reconsidering our ongoing relationship to these important tools, questioning whether they are helpful or a hinderance.

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