The transition into the 21st century has been marked by the rise of ubiquitous connectivity. The proliferation of new technologies and networks has enabled millions to create a series of new experiences mediated online but often coupled with physical, real world manifestations. In 2011, the Arab Spring movement illustrated the impact this 24/7 connectivity could deliver, toppling structures and institutions that had existed for decades. The Chasm Arena, featuring multi-media works by Zeina Barakeh with Michal Gavish, Cece Carpio, Cybele Lyle, and Dennis Kim with Michelle Lee, explores the dynamics of some of the longest lived conflicts and the fissures that continue to divide us geographically and psychologically, revealing the cracks and openings that shift existing structures.
Public Intimacy focuses on the ways that contemporary artists have explored interpersonal relationships, encounters, and exchange in everyday social life in South Africa. Initially formed from a consideration of South African photography in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art collection, the exhibition also includes works in painting, printmaking, sculpture, media art, graphic design, and performance, with an emphasis on 2008 to the present. Artists include David Goldblatt, Pieter Hugo, i-jusi (Garth Walker), William Kentridge, Billy Monk, Zanele Muholi, Lindeka Qampi, Jo Ractliffe, Ernest Cole, Nicholas Hlobo, Sabelo Mlangeni, Santu Mofokeng, Sello Pesa and Vaughn Sadie, Athi-Patra Ruga, Mikhael Subotzky (with Patrick Waterhouse), and Kemang Wa Lehulere, among others.
Los Angeles-based artist Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon works in sound, installation, and sculpture. Her work is often devised around audio and spatial feedback systems that manipulate the visitor’s awareness of sound and space, incorporating the physical and sonic qualities of surrounding architecture to engage the viewer’s senses. Gordon investigates sonic and architectural applications of cybernetic systems in the 20th and 21st centuries to technological design, from anechoic chambers to the military’s use of Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) speakers. Reverse engineering those implements of social control; the dissonant spaces she creates uncover how such systems regulate human subjectivity, mobility, and perception.
This exhibition is a part of Control: Technology in Culture, a new series of exhibitions in the Upstairs Galleries showcasing work by emerging and midcareer artists who examine the social, cultural, and experiential implications of technology.