Hyperlinks or It Didn’t Happen (2014) is narrated by the failed CGI rendering of a recently deceased actor, PHIL. In an intensification of so-called hyperlink cinema, the lives of a group of digital agents—render ghosts, spam bots, holograms—unfold across various settings, genres, and modes of representation. Multiple storylines build, converge, and collapse around overarching ideas of existence without anatomy: the ways in which we live and work within the machine. Throughout, questions are raised about what it means to be materially conscious today and the rights of the personal data we release.
In a time of embedded lives and networked culture, where the screen acts as a mediator between the self and perceived reality, technology has ostensibly become an extension of the body, changing our relationship to space, ourselves, and others. Digital Bodies is a one-year program that features videos by artists who use and manipulate digital technologies—mainly computer-generated images, signs, and systems sourced from digital platforms—to reflect on how these technologies have impacted our everyday lives and changed the ways we relate to the world. Given our current state of constant digital expansion and acceleration, these works express the pervasiveness and indispensability of digital culture in shaping our daily interactions.
Digital Bodies is organized by the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University and curated by Carla Acevedo-Yates and Steven L. Bridges, Assistant Curators. Support for this exhibition is provided by the Alan and Rebecca Ross Endowed Exhibition Fund and the MSU Broad’s general exhibitions fund.
Artists featured in Digital Bodies:
May: Cécile B. Evans
June: Jillian Mayer
July: Jon Rafman
August: Jason Lazarus & Eric Fleischauer
October: Kate Cooper
November: Rashaad Newsome
December: Andrew Norman Wilson
January: Micah Hesse
February: Keren Cytter
March: Wilf Speller
April: Institute for New Feeling