The social impact of technology and the different ways in which it permeates our consciousness is explored in a disarming new exhibition in the Flinders University City Gallery called New Alchemists.
Curated by Dr Alicia King, the exhibition celebrates the nexus of art and science and draws attention to the new and altered realities generated by advances in automation and machination.
The Australian, English, French and Chinese artists who feature in the exhibition tell their own unique tale of life redefined by new technologies, with a focus on the growing disconnect between scientific innovation and intuitive human responses.
Exhibitors include Art Orienté Objet; Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr; Michaela Gleave; Ian Haig; Nadege Philippe Janon; Thomas Thwaites; and Lu Yang.
“This exhibition looks at the evolution and devolution of human experience as a result of hybrid living through the lens of new media, performance, installation and sound,” says Dr King.
“I’m interested in the way technology is incorporated into our collective vision under the premise of being innately symbiotic to maintaining human life.
“The intent of the show is not to glorify or condemn the adoption of new technologies but rather to explore a spectrum of approaches to life, from the mechanistic to the visceral.
“The exhibits in this show are at times absurd, sometimes confronting, but always insightful,” Dr King says.
The theme of New Alchemists follows a long-held interest by Flinders University in the intersection between art and science and the impact of this on human thought and endeavour.
“We are thrilled to revisit this line of enquiry through Dr King’s provocative and paradoxical collection,” says Flinders University Art Museum Director Fiona Salmon.
“This exhibition affords us a moment to pause and consider our role and function in an age increasingly dominated by new technology and machines.”
New Alchemists has been developed by Salamanca Arts Centre in Hobart and is being toured by Contemporary Art Tasmania.
The exhibition will be open to the public from Saturday 17 February until 15 April 2018 and is presented as part of the 2018 Adelaide Fringe Festival.
New Alchemists will be formally launched at Flinders University City Gallery on Friday 23 February at 6pm by Emeritus Professor Ian Gibbins, College of Medicine and Public Health, Flinders University.