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DUBAI: While many industries have slowed over the course of the pandemic, the digital panorama wherein we now stay has accelerated.

The digital sphere, already fast-tracked earlier than the pandemic by means of social media and different high-tech parts, is now the main target of our on a regular basis existence. Our life now exists by means of screens. We work by means of screens, talk by means of screens and join with others by means of screens.

We additionally join with ourselves by means of screens, and it’s this concept of the self {that a} pivotal exhibition, “Age of You,” now open on the Jameel Arts Center, says is underneath risk as a consequence of our widespread digitalization.

Crowd Landscape, 2021, Satoshi Fujiwara. Courtesy of Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by Daniela Baptista

The exhibition, which runs on the Dubai middle till Aug. 14, was curated by three of the artwork world’s most revered curators: Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist.

It relies across the trio’s newest e-book, “The Extreme Self,” a sequel to their earlier title, “The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present.” The new e-book options “13 immersive chapters that chart the remaking of one’s interior world as the external world becomes increasingly uncertain.”

Basar informed Arab News: “The world in many ways feels unrecognizable from a year ago when the pandemic began. ‘Age of You’ shows you how, and maybe why that’s the case.”

Set throughout two of Jameel Art Center’s gallery flooring, the brand new exhibition consists of graphic design by Daly & Lyon, and works by greater than 70 worldwide visible contributors from the worlds of artwork, design, filmmaking, pictures, expertise and digital music.


Behold These Glorious Times!, 2017, Trevor Paglen. Courtesy of Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by Daniela Baptista

“Age of You” additionally consists of new commissions that showcase varied elements of what the curators have termed “the extreme self,” together with works by Yuri Pattison, Satoshi Fujiwara and Stephanie Saade, whose work offers with screens, crowds and “emoji-as-surveillance.”

There are additionally movies by Trevor Paglen and NVIDIA Research, and audio “deepfakes” by Vocal Synthesis which can be created by means of synthetic intelligence. The works of Jenna Sutela, Sara Cwynar and Victoria Sin discover reworking perceptions of the face and the physique, whereas Craig Green’s assortment and marketing campaign for Moncler marries menswear with a machine.

“It seems that ‘Age of You’ is one of very few large-scale museum exhibitions to open anywhere in the world this spring, and its subject matter could not be more timely,” Antonia Carver, Jameel Arts Center director, informed Arab News.

Illocutionary Utterances, 2018, Victoria Sin. Courtesy of Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by Daniela Baptista

“The exhibition has been in development for a number of years, and its first iteration was at MOCA Toronto, with whom we collaborated on the show,” she added. “It addresses issues that are very ‘now’ — how technology is shaping us, how our data has become the global commodity of today and how our new ‘extreme selves’ are shaping our world.

“But through the pandemic, the exhibition became even more urgent and relevant to our age. The curators adapted the show over the past few months, and brought in further discussion of our online lives and our new understandings of the individual and the crowd.”

The works — a mixture of emojis, movies, daring statements and installations — relay emotions of happiness, disappointment, melancholy and confusion. Among the highlights is Satoshi Fujiwara’s eight-meter-high, 22-meter-long photographic sculpture that has reworked one of many middle’s inside gardens right into a surreal skyscraper of faces.

Untitled (iOS emoji content material conscious fill), 2021, Yuri Pattison.Courtesy of Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by Daniela Baptista

There can be Jenna Sutela’s lava lamp heads, which, in keeping with Basar, “remind us that humans are maybe the most alien life forms on earth.”

Another set up, a 10-meter-high outside banner, shows a brand new Russian doll emoji tagged with 4 phrases that reiterate our obsession with the self: “Me. You. It. Us.”

As the viewer walks by means of the exhibition, they really feel the identical electrifying and confused pulse that screens in on a regular basis life emanate. “Age of You” emphasizes the apparent: This century’s most dear useful resource is you — all your on-line behaviors flip into the information and algorithms that dictate the motion of our digital sphere.

“‘Age of You’ addresses a global phenomenon, but as the first post-pandemic exhibition addressing this theme, it’s particularly apt that it is staged in the UAE, in the Gulf, and from here, beams out globally,” mentioned Carver.

‘Age of You,’ Courtesy of Jameel Arts Centre. Photo by Daniela Baptista

“It’s well known that here we have a particular affinity with new technologies, high mobile phone usage, and an intense interest in artificial intelligence, and in debating and developing strategies for the future. This show has a dynamic, seductive theme and design, but it’s not an easy one — it challenges each and every one of us to interrogate our lives and our relationships with technology.”

A e-book on the exhibition is due for launch later this spring. The e-book “will travel, which means the show will travel, too,” Basar mentioned.

The exhibition leaves us with this query: What if the long run is dictated by the unintended penalties of who you might be and your on-line actions? Only time and our actions will inform.

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