Memes & Machines Artist Talk
Facilitated by
Emmy Voges

Part of the Memes & Machines event.

Today, there is no life without technology. Machine objects, from phones to fans, are ubiquitous across our movements, interactions, and very beings. "Memes & Machines" brings together six works by five artists who interrogate how technology molds and holds us; how has internet culture penetrated our understandings of the self? How does the incessant reproduction of images reflect personal and societal degeneration? How do we elevate our consciousness about these phenomena?

Anakin Boucher and Marie-Ann Laroche's works unpack the laughability of machine and internet culture as it pertains to queerness and neurodivergence. "Glitter Slime Tutorial (No Borax!)" is an absurdist reckoning with the pressures of performance and productivity under capitalist surveillance, and "Queering the Machine" recontextualizes audiovisual material of machines into a silly, sexy innuendo for nonbinary polyamory. The appropriation of both the YouTube format and television clips brings forth the question of context and reproduction on the internet, which Ibrahim Mahmoud elaborates on in his installation work. "New Folder" breathes new life into the all-consuming beast of "doomscrolling" by reclaiming discarded and archived images into an experiential sequence of abstraction. Images that would have otherwise been buried by the wave of constant uploads, reposts, and digital degeneration are transformed into art objects.

Colin Chae's "handsvideo_me_20231015_Montreal.mp4" deals with similar issues of degeneration, abstracted contexts, and memeage, and his "Memes from a God" foregrounds the elusive yet resonant personal relationship internet users experience with the digital realm. Alex Cho's "Routine" elucidates the daily cycles which we repeat to the point of obscurity, forgetting that they are part of our routines at all. Cho's video makes a point to think about what has become thoughtless and, in partnership with the rest of the exhibit, urges us all to become conscious of the on and offline procedures which have become mindless.

So join us on this playground of screens and images. Walk through them and be consumed as they consume you. Allow yourself to be lost in the blue light, and let it guide you toward a renewed virtual knowledge.