Digital Matters: The Earth Behind the Screen
Galleries 1 & 2
Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art
3 November – 4 February 2018
The Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art (CFCCA) is preparing to launch its latest exhibition, an exploration into our digital addictions and their devastating impact on the natural world.
Whilst the world is increasingly dependent on digital technologies, the physical impact of the electronics we use daily is often ignored. The complex internal structures of a mobile phone or a PC require not only the extraction of natural resources but also thousands of unique parts to be manufactured and disposed of in a cycle of production that enables us to engage in the digital realm.
Digital Matters: the earth behind the screen is a group exhibition exploring the relationship between the natural and the technological through artworks produced in Hong Kong and China. The participating artists attempt to interrogate the material foundations of our contemporary digital universe and its related socio-political and environmental concerns.
Artist duo MapOffice explore the numerous territorial disputes in the South and East China seas, in which the exhaustion of natural resources is a key issue. Design research studio Unknown Fields use animation and film to document the global production chain of electronic devices revealing the terrifying natural and social consequences of mineral extraction.
New media artist Lin Ke playfully visualises nature in the era of climate change using only familiar software packages and his Mac’s user interface. Similarly, Yang Yongliang’s detailed digital motifs evolve from the traditional Chinese landscape tradition to question uncontrolled urbanisation and industrialisation in China, and how traditional customs and heritage are being forgotten and destroyed in the process. Ellen Pau and Dani Ploeger invite audiences to consider the threats of global production and consumption of electronics and start conversations about our role as consumers.
Curated by Marianna Tsionki (Research Curator, CFCCA & University of Salford) under the aegis of Manchester Metropolitan University as part of a curatorial industry based PhD.
CFCCA is leading the UK in exploring Chinese contemporary culture through a diverse range of art and artists.