Experimenta Makes Sense: International Triennial of Media Art expresses the disconcerting and delightful world of the digital age. Both playful and thought provoking, this exhibition asks audiences to immerse their senses into a ‘thinking’, ‘feeling’ and ‘doing’ contemplation of what it is to be human in an age of technological acceleration
Robert Andrew, Ella Barclay, Michele Barker and Anna Munster, Briony Barr, Steve Berrick, Antoinette J. Citizen, Adam Donovan and Katrin Hochschuh, Lauren Edmonds, Liz Magic Laser, Jon McCormack, Lucy McRae, Gail Priest, Matthew Gardiner, Jane Gauntlett, Scale Free Network: Briony Barr and Gregory Crocetti, Andrew Styan, Judy Watson and Katarina Zdjelar.
The exhibition investigates how artists ‘make sense’ of our world, and invites us to explore our understanding of the present. In a time of accelerating technological changes to our society and culture, Experimenta Make Sense investigates our extreme present. The term ‘extreme present’ was recently coined to capture the impact of accelerating technological change on society and culture: a time where it feels impossible to maintain pace with the present, let alone the future. A challenge for 21st century humanity is that “we have Paleolithic emotions, medieval institutions and god-like technologies”, according to Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson. We humans still ‘make sense’ of our world through our physical selves and our cultures. The artworks exhibited in Experimenta Make Sense engage directly with this conundrum.
The key questions explored by the artists in Experimenta Make Sense include:
- How do we make sense of the world around us? As we grapple with the rapid pace of change shaped by technological transformation, political uncertainty and global challenges, we recognise that science and technology continue to provide tools for understanding our world. Complex systems theory and ever-larger big-data sets all promise to give us fresh insights into our present day. In Experimenta Make Sense you will find artworks that problematise this idea or embrace it, or in some cases create new theories or data sets.
- How can we use our senses to make sense? Throughout the exhibition you will also find many non-corporeal interfaces that mirror our lived experiences and beg the question: can our biological bodies and our sensorial systems keep up with it all?
- How do we make sense through making? In the face of these changes it is perhaps no accident that we have seen the rise of the maker movement, reflecting a human need to understand the world physically, beyond the screen. This trend is evidenced by a number of artworks that use hands-on participation in their realisation. The exhibition seeks to encourage wide engagement with this conversation by presenting work by Australian and international artists who use, critique and experiment with technology, media and art.