This exhibition, curated by Weave at Abertay, brings together emerging and established digital artists/activists whose work comments, reflects and challenges ideas relating to socio-political issues and events. It is a survey of media objects of protest against hostile acts and environments over the past 35 years.
How are digital artists using their practice to facilitate conversations around complex socio-political issues? How do we protest differently in a digital age?
It is a turbulent time across the globe – from the challenges of Brexit to the protests in Hong Kong, from the growing Climate Emergency movement to the rise in Nationalism — the international socio-political landscape is increasingly subject to crisis and change.
These events and activities, while tied to specific cultural and socio-political contexts, often transcend borders and speak to collective concerns for alternative forms of democracy and citizen-informed solutions to complex issues.
Digital devices and platforms have encouraged the public to engage more with social and political issues, expanding opportunities for citizens to directly participate in civil society action. Blogs, petition platforms, crowdfunding sites, e-voting and other online forums and tools offer new means for individuals to contribute to shaping political debate and driving ‘real-world’ change.
It is against this diverse backdrop of politics, and the participatory nature of digital technologies, that many artists are producing work today.
The exhibition reflects on gun culture through Joseph Delappe’s Elegy: GTA USA Gun Homicides and Addie Wagenknecht’s series The Liberator Vases of 3D printed vases made using the first open source downloadable handgun. Irene Tokini Fubara-Manuel’s videogame ‘Dreams of Disguise: Errantry’ we explore issues of agency at border control and in Tina Keane’s video installation we recognise women’s historical struggle against nuclear weapons at Greenham Common . Igor Vamos’ (Yes Men) Barbie Liberation Organization playfully challenges gender-norms and Echo Youth by Matthew Plummer-Fernandez frames physical protest for a digital era.
The title of the exhibition is inspired by Roxy Music’s song, ‘Re-make/Re-model’ and makes reference to musician and theorist Brian Eno’s perspectives on technology, society and the future.
Weave by Abertay, based at Abertay University, creates a vibrant programme of cultural events across the city of Dundee, sharing local and global creativity.Weave gives a platform to national and international artists and designers to share their practice. Weave supports the talent and innovation of Abertay students and staff by working closely with the School of Design and Informatics. They collaboratively explore creative projects relating to Digital Culture, building on Abertay’s international reputation for excellence in computer games education. Through a series of talks, workshops, exhibitions and performances Weave collaborates with cultural partners across the city to make new connections, share knowledge and create cultural happenings across Dundee.
With gratitude and thanks to
Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics
DJCAD, University of Dundee
And our brilliant volunteer team.
Image Credit: Irene Tokini Fubara-Manuel, Dreams of Disguise: Errantry (2018)