Icons – a set of symbols transposing the impenetrable intricacies of digital processes onto a territory accessible to our, still very much Neolithic, minds. By dragging a text file to trash, we succumb to a useful illusion. Truth be told, nothing is in transit: the trash can does not exist; even the text file does not constitute any cohesive physical entity inside any hardware. However, by performing this codified, ritual-driven dance of clicks, taps, and swipes, we conjure digital processes to bring about a happy turn of events.
Our exhibition takes a closer look at our shared cultural “imaginarium” of digital gestures, symbols, and artefacts, dragging them out onto a physical space, enabling audiences a direct, tactile confrontation and – also literally – a different visual perspective. We dispose of the illusive permanence of digital archives, transforming a selfie into a heap of gravel. We ask: “How much of our attention do we make an offering to tech corporations, succumbing to the ritual of ceaseless scrolling?” We perform an act of iconoclasm, deconstructing the cult, iconic Nokia 3310 – the gateway drug of our present-day smartphone intoxication. We place digital icons within baroque frames, depicting emotions associated with them. Paused by our gaze, the progress bar is our way of asking whether technological advancement goes hand in hand with the rejection of magical thinking…
As an artistic collective composed of Gen Y / millennials, we have experienced first-hand the dynamic growth of digital culture: from the soothing dial-up tones of modems to video conferencing via Zoom. This exhibition is no different: it touches upon both what is today considered vintage, such as the first Pegasus-compatible (Nintendo Entertainment System clone) video games, and what is currently trending – the up-to-the-minute impact of social media on inter-human communication.
We hope that in our exhibition the audience will find a reflection of their own digital culture experience. Even if the mirror is slightly distorting.