Electronic Superhighway

Art, Digital and interactive
Recommended
4 out of 5 stars
(2user reviews)
 (Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 'Surface Tension', 1992. Courtesy of the artist and Carroll/Fletcher)
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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, 'Surface Tension', 1992. Courtesy of the artist and Carroll/Fletcher
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Oliver Laric, 'Versions (Missile Variations)', 2010. Courtesy the artist and Seventeen Gallery, London. © Oliver Laric.
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Aristarkh Chernyshev, 'Loading', 2007. Courtesy the artist and XL Gallery, Moscow. © Aristarkh Chernyshev.
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Olia Lialina, 'My Boyfriend Came Back from the War', 1996. © Olia Lialina
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Addie Wagenknecht, 'Asymmetric Love', 2013. Courtesy bitforms gallery, New York Photograph by David Payr © Addie Wagenknecht
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Nam June Paik, 'Internet Dream', 1994. © (2008) ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Photo: ONUK (Berhard Schmitt) © Nam June Paik Estate
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Amalia Ulman, 'Excellences & Perfections (Instagram Update, 18th June 2014)', 2015. Courtesy the artist and Arcadia Missa, London © Amalia Ulman
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Lynn Hershman Leeson, 'Seduction of a Cyborg', 1994. © (2015) ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe © Lynn Hershman Leeson
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Eduardo Kac, 'Tesão (Horny)', 1985. Courtesy the artist and England & Co. Gallery, London © Eduardo Kac
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Celia Hempton, 'Aldo and Jesi, Albania, 16th August 2014', 2014. Courtesy Southard Reid, London © Celia Hempton
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Ulla Wiggen, 'Den röda Tv:n', 1967. Courtesy Moderna Museet, Stockholm/Asa Lunden © Ulla Wiggen

You’d expect YouTube, Instagram, image manipulation and the Dark Web to feature in a show about how the invention of computers and the internet have impacted on artists and irrevocably changed the terrain of contemporary art. And they do, in work by current art world darlings such as Jon Rafman, Ryan Trecartin and Hito Steyerl. What the Whitechapel’s ambitious first show of 2016 also offers, however, is a surprisingly extensive history of the subject. The exhibition kicks off with the very recent stuff before taking you back to the paleolithic period (1966), when the group Experiments in Art and Technology (EAT), founded by engineers Billy Klüver and Fred Waldhauer and including artists such as Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, staged ‘9 Evenings: Theatre and Engineering’ in New York, a groundbreaking series of events that challenged the conventions of art by incorporating new technology.

BACK TO THE FUTURE: SIX DECADES OF ART AND TECHNOLOGY

By: Martin Coomer

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Tastemaker

There were some interesting bits and pieces on the ground floor, such as demonstrating the impact the reality show culture has through a chaotic scene of self-absorbed teenagers and a 911 scam set up as karaoke complete with a TV screen showing the words forming the scam, a microphone, and large speaker. The first floor went back to the 60s and 70s and it was funny remembering the old dot matrix printouts. I'm not sure I got from it what the exhibit was trying to achieve which I think was the impact of the internet on our lives over the past 5 or 6 decades. 

0 of 1 found helpful

Beyond average. Some of the pieces upstairs play more with the internet - call and response; contrasts; data. The Gay Bomb was interesting satire - and a virtual product. But most of this is lame video art that is only tangentially related to anything at all.