Issue 2. - What Does Not Bend | 04.27.20
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In the fall of 2018, the Miller ICA opened the exhibition Paradox: The Body in the Age of AI. It explored how disembodied environments for interaction have proliferated with the emergence of new technologies that provide endless opportunities for social life to play out in virtual space, with no physical contact. The work by the eleven artists included in Paradoxlooked at how this new reality powerfully connects millions of people, while the disembodied nature of these interactions can also facilitate dehumanization. At the core of the exhibition was the premise that the sensorimotor habitat of the body is deeply influential in shaping our awareness, imagination, and socio-political structures. As we are now spending an unprecedented amount of time staying physically distant from each other and taking our personal and professional interactions to the internet, we thought it was a good opportunity to revisit aspects of this exhibition and to think about how it impacts on our bodies, our interactions, and our value systems.
While the total effects of this pandemic will be unknown for a long time, what is clear about this moment is that what cannot bend, morph and reconstitute, will break, or fade away. As artists are responding in real time to the new conditions of creative production, they are reimagining the purpose, value, and distribution strategies for their artwork. They are examining everything from the efficacy of a sculpture that cannot occupy physical space with a viewer to the ability to generate solidarity through dancing in solitude. This is a time where we all have more questions than we do answers, but on the other side of this shut down, we will gain a deeper understanding of what it is exactly that physical distance dismantles, and what the possibilities are of what we build in its place.Remotely wishing you
good health and safety,
Elizabeth Chodos, Miller ICA Director