Carla Gannis and Shu Lea Cheang in group exhibition Monsters of the Machine in Spain


Carla Gannis, The Garden of Emoji Delights


Carla Gannis and Shu Lea Cheang are among artists in a group exhibition currently on show in Spain whose focus is on relating Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein through contemporary issues and media techniques.

Monsters and the Machine is curated by Marc Garrett of Furtherfield Gallery located in London’s Finsbury Park. The exhibition takes place at Laboral Centro de Arte in Gijón and features work by Cristina Busto Alvarez, Mary Flanagan, Carla Gannis, Genetic Moo, Shu Lea Cheang, Regina De Miguel, Guido Segni and  Thomson & Craighead. The show brings together the work of artists working with diverse media to look at mutation and change (as concept and as act) in today’s world. What, in the contemporary context, is meant by dysfunction, by hybridity, by the monstrous?

The exhibition tackles issues ranging from surveillance to the Anthropocene to post-humanism to accelerationism. The works on display attempt to give definition to these issues in a rapidly changing world, and also to describe ways of responding to them critically and creatively.

UKI Viral Love by Shu Lea Cheang

UKI Viral Love by Shu Lea Cheang


Through creative engagement with 3D printed avatars, an algorithmic remapping of the Sahara Desert and a poetic reimagining of the human genome as poetry, the exhibition looks at how communication and culture have changed in light of recent technological developments. It also examines the role of the inventor as genius and as destroyer, asking “Who is the real monster? Dr. Frankenstein or the poor wretched mutant he brought to life?”

For the exhibition, Carla Gannis presents her 2014 work The Garden of Emoji Delights as a digital c-print and video. The Garden of Emoji Delights project is derived from, and responds to, Hieronymus Bosch’s 500 year old work The Garden of Earthly Delights. In her contemporary reworking of an old master painting Gannis remixes classical imagery with emojis to produce mash-ups which act as comments on the human condition. At times absurd, humorous, parodic and critical, the project looks at how aesthetics, artistic media and communication methods have changed – and remained in stasis – over the centuries. A series of digital editions by Gannis from the Garden of Emoji Delights project are available on Sedition. View the newly released La Emoji Lujuria collection.

Also featured in Monsters In The Machine is celebrated cyberpunk artist Shu Lea Cheang, whose 2013 work UKI Viral Love is presented as an installation. The work, a sequel to Cheang’s 2000 movie I.K.U, builds a narrative in which coders employed to collect data on human orgasms and feed it into a mobile app are deprived of the data they need. The coders are forced to scavenge for data in a landscape strewn with physical and digital debris. The project is presented as a viral performance and a viral game.

Monsters and the Machine runs from 18 November 2016 to 21 May 2017 at Laboral Centro de Arte, Prados, 121, 33203, Gijón, Spain.

Tags: , , , , , , ,