All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace: NEoN Digital Arts Festival Exhibition

Sarah Cook (Curator), Clare Brennan (Curator)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


Exhibition of the work of Miyu Hayashi, Ruth Kerr, Willy Le Maitre, Tom Sherman and Steina Vasulka, All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace asks if machines recognise and understand the spaces they inhabit. NEoN’s festival theme, ‘The Spaces We’re In’, questions the differences between virtual and physical space, but how are machines and digital technologies programmed to also understand those differences? For centuries the camera obscura and other forms of camera have allowed us to capture a view of the world and show it to others, but now machines communicate with each other, across networks and via algorithms, with and without human intervention. Do technological machines – cameras, lasers, microscopes, scanners – understand the spaces they share with us, and if so, what can we learn if we consider our surroundings the way they do? The selected works of art in this group exhibition allow us to contemplate space from the machine's point of view.
The title is taken both from the poem of the same name by Richard Brautigan, describing a technological utopia where machines exist to enrich and protect our lives, and the documentary series by filmmaker Adam Curtis which considers what happens when we let our computer networks have too much oversight, in his words distorting and simplifying our view of the world around us.
co-curated by Sarah Cook and Clare Brennan for NEoN Digital Arts Festival 2016 (The Spaces We're In)
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2016


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