The Digital Art Guide to London
I’m broadly interested in how contemporary art negotiates developments in technology. Here’s a handful of London galleries that engage emerging artists who are exploring our pervasively networked, digital condition.
Seventeen | 17 Kingsland Rd., E2 8AA
Seventeen is a maturing independent gallery in the heart of East London. Its intimate exhibition space includes a crypt-like basement that was recently put to good use with melancholic moving image works by Jon Rafman. Past shows include Oliver Laric, as well as an anniversary celebration for online gallery bubblebyte.org.
Arcadia_Missa | Unit 6, Bellenden Road Business Centre, SE15 4RF
Set under a railway arch near Peckham station, this gallery recently celebrated its fifth birthday. Constantly probing our networked world with creative curation, AM is an important voice for critical thinking on technology, publishing its own journal, How to Sleep Faster. Harry Sanderson’s “Human Resolution” and “Unified Fabric” shows stand out—the former including a video piece displaying renderings of gallery visitors scanned in 3D in real-time—as do Jesse Darling and Yuri Pattison’s installation work.
Carroll / Fletcher | 56 - 57 Eastcastle St., W1W 8EQ
Set in the Fitzrovia gallery district, C/F boasts a spacious interior replete with a brutalist, poured concrete staircase. Pioneering computer artist Manfred Mohr was given a solo show here in 2012, and since then emerging net artists Mishka Henner and Constant Dullaart have exhibited provocative works interrogating image production in the digital era.
Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) |12 Carlton House Terrace, SW1Y 5AH
A long-standing fixture of the arts in London, the ICA has recovered from near bankruptcy to return to its radical roots with braver programming in the past year or two. Hito Steyerl’s solo show and accompanying talks were a standout moment of 2014. Tauba Auerbach’s first solo show in the UK explored scientific themes through chiral sculptures. In recent months the public program of talks has featured Lunch Bytes—a series of events on digital culture—as well as international figures like Boris Groys and Graham Harman.
Lima Zulu Project Space | Unit 3J, Omega Works, N4 1lZ
Located within an artist warehouse in North East London, this informal, collaboratively run space produces shows by local artists. Past events include critiques of the open source movement and Bitcoin, as well as works by Holly White, Megan Rooney, and Felix Melia. Performances by the likes of Hacker Farm, a Presh Bar (“Disney’s residency at Berghain”), and a weeklong drop-in, Cafe 1.0 (“it’s gonna be just like a cafe”), give you a flavour of what to expect in this fluid project space.
Serpentine Gallery | Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA
Set in Hyde Park, this established space needs no introduction. What sometimes goes unnoticed is a progressive digital programme. A recent commission to Cécile B. Evans produced AGNES, a ‘spambot’ that can be interacted with online. Ed Atkins’ computer-generated moving image works are on show this summer in the new Zaha Hadid-designed Sackler Gallery. Atkins’ works use uncanny virtual avatars to unsettle the viewer's own sense of corporeality. Both artists raise timely questions on desire and agency via computational media.
The White Building | Unit 7, Queen’s Yard, White Post Ln., E9 5EN
Set up by SPACE as part of the cultural legacy project for the London Olympics, The White Building has a public residency programme dedicated to art & technology. It is located in the peripheral, industrial environs of Hackney Wick, a long-standing artist community that now finds itself by an olympic site. Residents include Hannah Black, Kari Altmann, and Matthew Plummer-Fernandez, emerging artists with refreshingly new forms of practice. Curator Rachel Falconer has coordinated a yearlong theme on the topic of infrastructures, so expect talks probing the material basis of power in a networked world.
Access a Google Map of my guide, here.
Portrait by Elliot Kennedy.
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