To Be Human

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To Be Human

  • 16 Sep 2021 — 24 Sep 2021

Curated by Nicole Tatschl

Keiken (UK), Stine Deja (DK), Katrin Niedermeier (DE/CH), Thomas Harrington Rawle (AUS/UK), Maria Bacila (AT/RO) Sofia Albina Novikoff Unger (DK/UK)

‘We are lonely but fearful of intimacy. Digital connections and the sociable robot may offer the illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship. Our networked life allows us to hide from each other, even as we are tethered to each other. We’d rather text than talk.’ Sherry Turkle - Alone Together

We share our lives with ‘intelligent’ objects such as the smartphone and the computer/laptop but most recently we have also heavily relied on Amazon’s Alexa and other devices to talk to us and help us navigate through life.

To Be Human is examining the relationship between human and machine and especially how technology can alter social behaviour but also make us lonelier. Humans and machines are in constant dialogue and it is vital that we understand the conditions of our coexistence. We correspond with each other constantly through electronic mail and contribute to electronic bulletin boards and mailing lists; join interest groups whose participants are all over the world.

We are so much like machines that we can simply extend ourselves through cyborg couplings with them but then at the same time we are learning to see ourselves as plugged in technobodies, we are describing our politics and economic life in a language that is resonant with a particular form of machine intelligence.

Combining our physical and virtual realities, we increasingly use the virtual world as a gateway to another world, one in which time does not exist. Especially since the internet has become a significant social laboratory for experimenting with the constructions and reconstructions of self that characterise postmodern life. In its virtual reality, we self-fashion and self-create.

Nicole Tatschl (b. 1992) is an Austrian independent curator and writer based in London. Her practice investigates the digital world and how we interact with the internet on a day-to-day basis by living hyperconnected lives. Her curatorial projects have appeared online and in galleries, with Too much television watchin’ got me chasin’ dreams online for off site projects being the most recent one. In 2018 she founded the independent publishing house Elam Publishing that specialises in artist and exhibition publications.

This exhibition is generously supported by the Exhibitions Hub, Goldsmiths University of London, Federal Ministry of Arts and Culture, Civil Service and Sport (BMKOES) and Land Vorarlberg.

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Ilderton Wharf
London SE15 1EP