The New Anxiety – VIRTUALLYREALITY SS21 weeks 1-2

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor
the new anxiety
a still from Dele Adeyemo and Christxpher Oliver's video-essay 'The Cosmogony of (Racial) Capitalism'

14 — 28 May 2021 Entrance is free — Book now

VIRTUALLYREALITY have launched their first fortnights instalment of their SS21 series with a focus on The New Anxiety. One of the highlights in the the two week’s content is a screening of the “cameraman without a camera”, Dominic Gagnon’s feature film ‘Going South’, a vivid tapestry traversing the disconnected societal bubbles of 21st Century living. Built entirely from found YouTube footage – from excessive partying to climate disasters, shopping lists to sex tourism, granny gamers to Flat Earthers – ‘Going South’ panics and flails in its kaleidoscopic portrayal of a pluralised world.

Following this are two Manchester-recorded performances of multimedia compositions by Óscar Escudero + Belenish Moreno-Gil and Luke Nickel. The former’s ‘[HOC]’ follows an obsession with geolocation as the percussionist Darren Gallacher, absorbed in VR, struggles to pinpoint the ‘now’ in the always-ephemeral present. Due to covid restrictions this performance will be available at a later date. The latter’s ‘Conversation Piece’ is upgraded for Zoom performance by ensemble SHOAL as their online conversations are monitored to strain ensemble interaction.

Within these technologies are recursive loops of coded language that birth implicit biases. In Erica Scourti’s video installation ‘Exit Scripts’ a problematic custom algorithm sequences her vast database of iPhone voice recordings according to their detected arousal. Dele Adeyemo and Christxpher Oliver’s video essay ‘The Cosmogony of (Racial) Capitalism’ positions the history of map-making as causal to the global trade of sugar-cane and henceforth the displacement and enslavement of West Africans. Finally, VIRTUALLYREALITY brings together artists and thinkers previously appearing in research project Schemas of Uncertainty (co-initiator Danae Io) and online symposium Recursive Colonialism, Artificial Intelligence and Speculative Computation (symposium co-organiser Ezekiel Dixon-Román) to share thoughts on the intersection between recursivity and uncertainty.

14 — 28 May 2021

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