Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud, Part 1
Curated by: Michele Thursz
Artists: S/N Coalition, Siebren Versteeg, Freya Powell, Yucef Merhi
Opening reception: Thursday, September 14th, 2017, 7-9 pm
Exhibition dates: September 14 - Sept 27, 2017
CP Projects Space, 132 West 21st Street, 10th floor, New York, New York 10011
CP Projects Space at the School of Visual Arts is pleased to present Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud, Part 1, curated by MA Curatorial Practice fellow Michele Thursz.
Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud, Part 1 is the first in a series of exhibitions that explores the relationship between the impact of cloud computing on culture, economy, and artistic practice.
The title of the exhibition refers to the 1965 song by the Rolling Stones, and more broadly to the social and generational upheaval generated by rock-and-roll in the late 1950 – 60s, which precipitated the exploration of new cultural expressions and the creation of a new cultural economy. Today, many visual artists refer to the production model of the music industry, regarding collaboration, creation, and alternatives to the commercial distribution model. The works in this exhibition use cloud computing for the analysis of data and the flows of social media and emails—each addressing ideas related to perception, authorship, memory, choice, chance, and values. Whether right or wrong, we as a global society are becoming one. The question is: In the cloud, do we share and share alike?
The cloud and the internet are information components that comprise their own ecosystem. Commercially, information systems are being used to achieve competitive advantage, effectively achieving a business objective. The utilization and protocols of the system are quickly becoming a global standard, forcing all markets to subscribe to similar standards. There are pro and cons to this strategy, due to the electronic platforms for information that efficiently create uniformity and consequently eliminate the utopian quality of the internet as a fully equitable, democratic information space. Yet at the same time, the same system is used to support information distribution for educational purposes, while creatively, artists are making use of cloud storage, which harbors software for the digital studio, as well as the content it produces. The cloud is therefore many things simultaneously, offering planetary computation in every aspect of human endeavor, both for industrial culture and individual autonomy. The works in this exhibition use cloud computing for the analysis of data and the flows of social media and emails—each addressing ideas related to perception, authorship, memory, choice, chance, and values.
S/ N Coalition’s The Fawn, 2017, utilizes a free mobile application to explore character and contemporary issues and the relationship between physical and virtual space through a playful perspective of childhood. Yucef Merhi’s, Interior Security, 2016, employs the act of hacking as an instrument for art production, endorsing email as an open and uncensored source of contemporary knowledge. Freya Powell’s, Omniscience, and Oblivion, 2016, presents seemingly everyday memories that point to the potential existence of collective memory. And Seibren Verstig’s Fake News, 2016, a real-time program created by one-per-minute compositions that algorithmically incorporate images from various news aggregators.
In all of this, Hey! You! Get Off of My Cloud, Part 1 emphasises some of the fascinating ways that artists are using cloud computing to support empowerment, individuality, and a social commentary. As with many instances in history, the invention of new technologies brings to light evolving dialogues about social issues and the effects of industry. Today, the individual, the artist, corporate entities, and governments are using the same mechanisms. Whether right or wrong, we as a global society are becoming one. The question is: In the cloud, do we share and share alike?
Image: S/N Coalition, Video still from The Fawn, 2017.