Mudam: Art and economics in the digital age
Developed at a time of great uncertainty and change, Mudam’s exhibition, Post Capital - Art and Economics of the Digital Age, forces us to question not only the economics of technologies, but also its humanity.
How implicit are we, as individuals, when surrendering privacies and hard-won freedoms to a string of tech companies. It’s an uneasy relationship that smacks of abuse and addiction, but one that we struggle to break.
Now at a crossroads between old ways and the ‘new normal’ we are forced to take a long, hard look at one of the most ubiquitous, damaging and all-consuming inventions of our time - technology.
Love or hate it, our affair with all things technological shows no signs of slowing and remains the one commodity we have all invested in.
So, prepare for a trip in the real world, sharing time with neglected friends and relations. But, don’t forget to take that all important sidekick, the one that documents your life and accompanies you everywhere - your phone. That’s who our ‘real relationship’ is with anyway, isn’t it?
The Post-Capital family art trip:
Post-Capitalism for seven-year-olds? Well, no. But, what child doesn’t love planes, 3D printing and the odd plant.
From the moment visitors enter the gallery via the Great Hall, Roger Hiorns’ sculptural installation of a Russian Mig plane encircled with plastic tubing, designed to represent the digestive system, will get your family's - and phone’s - attention. I’m not entirely sure this works as an art installation, but as an impressive feat of engineering and eye-watering logistical achievement, I am in awe.
Move to the Sculpture Garden where you will find Oliver Laric’s 3D sculptures and Hito Steyerl’s Free Plots - an installation of living plants made in collaboration with a local community garden in Luxembourg.
Oliver Laric’s models take this digital medium to another dimension, depicting four classical human/animal sculptures in cast resin and 3D print. His work grapples with awkward questions around copyright and commodity, and pieces are replicas of original sculptures, taken from museum collections around the world.
‘By digitising these models, Laric increases their audience and facilitates their dissemination beyond the museum’, the museum’s sign says. An example of this is his 3D scan of Hunter and Dog. The work was viewed by over 200 million people when it found its way onto the set of one of the entrants to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.
Finish with a look at Free Plots by Hito Steyerl, a mini herb garden, grown in repurposed packing crates.
The cool kids’ party - Cremant and Post Capitalist friends
Before making a beeline for the bar, head to the first floor to view Liz Magic Laser’s exhibition In Real Life, and follow five freelancers from different parts of the world as they try to adopt a 30 day ‘biohacking challenge’.
Bio-what? Ever used an app to track or maintain your weight, sleep or mental wellbeing? Then you're already a card-carrying member of the biohacking phenomenon.
Sit back and listen to a cast of life coaches, psychics and other players peddle their brand of wellness, replete with relevant apps designed to optimise the brain and body for success.
Take a screen break to view Katja Novitskova’s Approximations series. The free-standing cut-outs with accompanying corporate growth curves are dotted about the room like huge memes waiting to be captioned and shared on social.
Date night with your Post-Capitalist significant other
As real relationships play second fiddle to our phones, maybe now is the time to focus on our significant others.
Head straight to Nora Turato’s murals on the first floor. The psychedelic, smugly affirming phrases such as ‘eeeexactlyyy my point’ hold the energy and sway of a billboard while evoking the typography of keyboard warriors everywhere. Opinions as assets? Discuss.
Revisit the art of touch and go gaze on Jospehine Pryde’s work Fur Mich [For me] - a series of hand-holding images.
However, the hands in question are tenderly holding touch sensitive devices. Maybe the time has come to question how intimate we are with these objects.
Head to the Post Capital Library where there are 15 specially chosen books. The reading list features a number of writers that have contributed to the exhibition through lectures and talks.
For me, the addition of a library functions as a cheeky nod and a wink to the title of the exhibition itself; coming from a 1993 book, Post-Capitalist Society, which predicted that the impact of information technology on the labour market would be so great that it would ultimately lead to the fall of capitalism by 2020.
Special screenings and viewings can also be found online.