State of Affairs
156 pages / 19.7 x 13.2 cm / Full colour printing / Perfect bound / 350 gsm silk paper cover / matt lamination finish / 150 gsm uncoated paper inside
physical (UK postage)
limited edition of 100
physical (non UK postage)
limited edition of 100
Now available to purchase.
State of Affairs is a new book by artist, curator and writer, Bob Bicknell-Knight. The book contains a number of texts that have been written over the past few years, from exhibition press releases to academic essays, concerning new technologies, future fictions and simulated spaces.
The texts are placed alongside a series of stills from State of Affairs (2018 – 19), a video piece that compiles footage from the YouTube channel News Direct, in which daily news stories, from self-driving buses to social media bots, are transcribed into 3D rendered animations. Non-linear in presentation, the re-appropriated video work illustrates current and future modes of technological interface, from facial recognition software to drone surveillance. Executed in a Y2K aesthetic, the work is dystopic and utopic all at once. Akin to the unconscious rituals implemented while existing on the internet, opening tab after tab, clickbait after clickbait, the piece mirrors the inconclusive narrative of our digital lives. The visual content is accompanied by a soothing, melodic soundtrack and augmented voiceover, forewarning of the future of gamified spaces and digital death. The artwork was commissioned by Daata Editions, and will be available to purchase and view online in 2019. The work's debut will be a part of Beyond The Door, a new online exhibition featuring newly commissioned artworks curated by Bob Bicknell-Knight on Daata Editions.
The font used in the book is Roboto, developed by Google as the system font for its mobile operating system Android, developed to be modern, approachable and emotional. The texts are presented in columns, mimicking how articles are formulated in newspapers and magazines, compressing the news into bitesize digestible chunks of data.
Bob Bicknell-Knight (b. 1996, Suffolk, UK) is a London-based artist, writer and curator working in installation, sculpture, video and digital media. Using found objects and tools made readily available by the internet, as well as drawing from a unique sensibility influenced by participation in online communities and virtual games, Bicknell-Knight’s work explores the divergent methods by which consumer capitalist culture permeates both online and offline society. Utopian, dystopian, automation, surveillance and digitization of the self are some of the themes that arise through Bicknell-Knight’s critical examination of contemporary technologies.
Bicknell-Knight is also the founder and director of isthisit?, a platform for contemporary art, exhibiting over 800 artists since its creation in May 2016. Online, it operates as a gallery producing monthly exhibitions showcasing emerging to mid-career artists, hosting a roster of guest curators experimenting with the medium of the internet to interrogate a variety of concepts. The website also hosts monthly residencies, where artists are given a web page to create new work that exists on the internet as a piece of net art. Offline, it has held exhibitions nationally and internationally and is the publisher of isthisit?, a book series released on a triannual basis.
Selected solo exhibitions include CACOTOPIA 02 at Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2018), Sunrise Prelude at Dollspace, London (2017) and Are we there yet? at Chelsea College of Art, London (2017). Selected group exhibitions include Trust Is The Ultimate Currency at Harlesden High Street, London (2019), Ground Zero Earth at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge (2019), They Live at Platform Southwark, London (2019), To cite a body at Sluice HQ, London (2019), GROUND ZERO EARTH at Alison Richard Building, Cambridge (2019), Inside Intel at Goldsmiths, University of London, London (2018), Total Power Exchange at Galerie Manque, New York (2018), Paper Cuts at Saatchi Gallery, London (2018), Terms and Conditions May Apply at Annka Kultys Gallery, London (2018), The Museum Has Abandoned Us at State of the Art, Berlin (2017) and The Choice of a New Generation at The Muse Gallery, London (2017).
Bicknell-Knight has spoken on panel discussions and given artist talks at Tate Modern, London (2019), University of Cambridge, Cambridge (2019), Camberwell College of Arts, London (2019) and Goldsmiths, University of London, London (2018).