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2017 Gallery Programme
For its 2017 artistic programme, arebyte will focus and investigate themes surrounding and relating to the idea of ‘Control’, inspired by the essay Postscript on Control Societies (1992) by Gilles Deleuze and a publication by New Formations (2015) following a similar name.
Control will bring local and international artists working mainly in new and experimental media, digital and performance to respond to global current affairs in a rapid and spontaneous way – from geopolitical concerns, class and racism, to immigration, legal and social affairs. Using new digital developments such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, along with the proliferation of the Internet and new global and local attempts to appropriate and privatise the web, the 2017 artistic programme will question the state of individuality, anonymity, surveillance and the distribution of knowledge in our current society through interrogation and artist’s response.
Looking at recent global (mostly Western world) and local affairs (UK and Europe specifically), such as Brexit, the 15 year anniversary of 9/11, Snowden and the NSA, the Refugee situation in Europe, and the cry for an alternative political and educational systems, we feel that addressing these issues now is appropriate as ever.
Continuing Michel Foucault’s investigation of power in ‘disciplinary societies’ in the 18th and 19th centuries, Deleuze offers a new articulation of the shift in the organisation of power in Post-Fordist and Neo-Liberal era towards a ‘society of control’.
Although short, the postscript has been interpreted with various degrees to concepts of power and control; from complex networks and consumer-culture, to education and neo-liberal architecture. At its core, the text examines the shift from societies of discipline to societies of control; hugely relevant today when the UK is one of the most surveilled nations in the world.
When the ubiquity of CCTV cameras in England was once a key symbol of the nation as a totalitarian surveillance state in the 80s, we now imagine digital and data security with a more complex perspective.
The series of ‘Control’ projects proposed for 2017 spreads across our two locations, in Hackney Wick and Clerkenwell, as well as our online gallery. Projects will range from online and onsite gallery residencies to research projects, group shows and solo exhibitions.