An overview of our modern life – By @Titouanhd
By Camila Alcaraz
An overview of our modern life
Few days ago I went to the 24/7 exhibition at the Somersethouse. I would say it was pretty interesting considering the fact that the exhibition was about how technology affects our life now a day, and how it has become part of our daily life 24h per day.
The exhibition was a mixture of multiples artist’s work with the same goal: reflect how new technology affects our daily life and how our behavior has changed because of it. It’s inspired from Jonathan Crary’s Book called 24/7, about how increasingly connect we’ve become and are becoming.
The thing that made the experience really interesting was that every piece of art make you feel, experience and think something different. And because every artist is different you won’t get bored at all.
The first work, which I found really interesting was from Roman Signer called BETT. It’s a video of the artist fast asleep on his bed with a helicopter flying above his head. This metaphor is used to show all the digitals systems that continually surround us even during our resting hours.
In fact, sleep time should be a moment where you can rest and escape from all the technology that is around us. But sadly, because tech are rooted so deeply in ours minds, even when we dream, they are still there. Either in our dream or physically next to us. Such as our phones or TVs, disrupting our distinct periods of sleeping.
The exhibition exposes an interesting angle which is the attention. It’s known that with the emergence of the new technologies, our generation have seen their attention more and more affected. We tend to want everything right now and quickly. We are being impatient faster and our attention is dropping way too much.
That makes us live in a “on/off mode” which means that our concentration tend to switch from on to off very quickly and too often. This stated makes our anxiety increase which disrupted our live and our mind.
The second artwork that caught my attention was the hand sculptures from the artist Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos, “Fifteen Pairs of Mouths”. She made multiple hand, each with a unique shape. The gesture that the hands shows are supposed to represent different ways to hold a cellphone with our own hands. Her work was aim to point the fact that we have replace our gesture and our voices by the movement of our thumbs. The title is meant to challenge the traditional meaning of the word speak.
Living on a non-stop world makes us intolerant to wait, we’ve become impatient and as I said we are loosing attention. The exhibition shows great metaphors of how we are also controlling time. Today, everything from social media, AI, the internet, to new ways to work such as freelancing, challenge our time perception. We can now travel from a country to another by using social media. We can fly into time by using the internet. And we can define our daily days by being freelancer. “Easy to lose track of time, which after all, is only a social construct”.
The last work that I want to share with you is from Marcus Coates called “Self portrait as time”. It’s a video where we see the artist making a metaphor of controlling time by moving the second of his watches with his thumb. 12 real hours of intense concentration, creating an illusion of controlling time.
So if you are willing to dream tonight, don’t forget to turn your phone off.