‘Are we all addicts now?’


‘Are we all addicts now?’ is an artist-led enquiry into how the conditions of the digital are not just shaped by us but also shaping us. McLuhan’s maxim is that every new technology creates a new human environment. Emergent pathologies such as internet addiction and digital dementia are symptomatic of this new human environment. ‘Are we all addicts now?’ is led by artist Katriona Beales, in partnership with artist and curator Fiona MacDonald, and in collaboration with Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones and Vanessa Bartlett. The project builds on Katriona Beales’ video installation, ‘White Matter’ (2015), which responded to internet addiction, and was commissioned by FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology).

‘Are we all addicts now?’ is intended as a provocation, seeking to initiate interdisciplinary conversations about the cultural and biomedical implications of our digital environments. During the research and development phase a series of workshops hosted by PEER will gather artists, biomedical scientists, academics, tech entrepreneurs and interested members of the public. These workshops will act as a testing site for the interrogation of the relationships humans have with conditions of the digital, and the cultural and biomedical implications. The workshops will provide a discursive context for the production of new work by Katriona Beales, and two public artworks one by Katriona and one by Fiona MacDonald. The resulting works will be exhibited Sept-Nov 2017 at Furtherfield and accompanied by a publication designed by Stefan Schafer, and co-edited by VanesSA Bartlett and Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones , as well as a symposium curated by Vanessa.

‘Are we all addicts now?’ is supported by the Wellcome Trust and Arts Council England.

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Background image: Still from ‘The Man who Fell to Earth’ (1976) directed by Nicolas Roeg

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