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The New Observatory

Craighead, Alison and Thomson, Jon. 2017. The New Observatory. In: "The New Observatory", FACT, Liverpool, UK, United Kingdom, 22/06/2017 -02/10/2017. [Show/Exhibition]

Item Type:

Show/Exhibition
Creators: Craighead, Alison and Thomson, Jon
Abstract or Description:

The New Observatory transforms our galleries into an observatory for the 21st century. In collaboration with the Open Data Institute, the exhibition brings together an international group of artists whose work explores new and alternative modes of measuring, predicting, and sensing the world today through data, imagination and other observational methods. Today we are part of ever growing systems and evolving data infrastructures, which include organisations, algorithms, numbers, facts, governments, machines, and others. Inherent to this is the opportunity for the minutiae of our everyday lives to be watched and tracked. The New Observatory is an open call to everyone to become actively involved in responding to the opportunities and threats this situation demands and to reimagine new possibilities, subjects, and modes of behaviour, in interesting, surprising and sometimes playful ways. Liverpool has its own unique history of observatories with the Liverpool and Bidston Observatories, which began observations in 1845 and 1867, monitoring natural phenomena from the stars to the sea, creating and using bespoke scientific instruments. Taking this as a key reference point, artists in The New Observatory ingeniously explore how data, devices, and networks once exclusive to scientists are now part of our everyday lives. The New Observatory responds to the challenges of standardisation in an increasingly technologically-mediated world. It offers a space where the predictability of things is challenged, where logic may fail, and where that failure can create space for new possibilities. By conjuring new and untold stories, from the personal to the political, micro to macro, abstract numbers are transformed into tactile and immersive artworks: personal health records are metamorphosed into digitally printed seashells, the data of divorce is reassessed, soft robotics visualise the social structures of micro-chipped naked mole rats, open source ground stations trace the constellations of satellites that circle the earth, and animatronic face masks replay covert recordings of NSA employees. It invites visitors to consider how everyday life is a subject of observation in which we all perform as our own micro-observatories, or ‘observatories of ourselves’. It asks us to reassess our roles as active citizens within a ‘surveillance’ culture, where the infrastructure that surrounds and enables our lives is both physical and digital, and to forge more meaningful, critical or intimate relationships with the data landscapes we inhabit. Curated by Hannah Redler Hawes (ODI) and Sam Skinner, the exhibition includes interactive works, installations, sound, film, photography, critical design projects, drawing and mixed media. It will be the world premiere of Recruitment Gone Wrong (2016), Divorce Index (2016) and Curtain of Broken Dreams (2016), three new large-scale commissions by internationally renowned British artists Thomson & Craighead and Natasha Caruana, respectively, who were the ODI’s first ever artists in residence in 2015. Other confirmed artists are: Burak Arikan, Wafaa Bilal, James Coupe, Phil Coy, Julie Freeman, Citizen Sense, David Gauthier, Interaction Research Studio, Rachel Jacobs, Jackie Karuti, Kei Kreutler, Libre Space Foundation, Stanza, Liz Orton, Proboscis (Giles Lane and Stefan Kueppers), Jeronimo Voss, and Yu-Chen Wang. The 3D and 2D design for The New Observatory will be created by Ab Rogers Design.

Official URL: http://www.thomson-craighead.net/recruitment.html
Additional Information:

The work in this exhibition was commissioned by Arts Council England and with support from Open Data Institute

Keywords: New, Observatory, FACT, Liverpool, Recruitment, Gone, Wrong, Art, Digital Art, Thomson, Craighead
Departments, Centres and Research Units: Art
Date range: 22/06/2017 -02/10/2017
Related URL: http://www.fact.co.uk/projects/the-new-observatory.aspx
Event Location: FACT, Liverpool, UK, United Kingdom
Item ID: 21530
Date Deposited: 29 Sep 2017 15:47
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2017 15:47

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/21530

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