Today, electronics and smart devices have become a staple in the home, providing convenient ways to control your home. Technology today influences the way we experience everyday life: automating both industrial processes (factory automation) as well as social and economic interactions (Social media, payment services, peer-to-peer networks). Smart technologies extend their reach into the home, controlling the lighting, air-conditioning, and all manner of appliances and fixtures; artificial intelligence, picking up on our preferences and routines, predicting our wants and needs and seamlessly integrating into the manifold of everyday life.
Exploring novel ways to use and abuse electronic circuits and smart home devices, Echo is a series of artistic experiments where familiar objects and things found in the home are transformed into strange and exciting sculptures and aesthetic experiences. Referring to the ECHO IV (Electronic Computing Home Operator) built in 1966, the first home computer built out of surplus parts with the idea of home automation in mind, the exhibition explores the artistic possibilities and pitfalls of technology infused into everyday life.
In this exhibition, artists displace familiar objects and ready-mades found in the Singaporean household, combining them electronics and smart devices to create assemblages and installations that move or interact with its environment or users.
On 27th August, a workshop titled Bottled Thunder will also be held. A nod to Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment where he directed lightning into a Leyden Jar, participants are invited to tinker and chat with the artists in a 2 hour hands-on art workshop inside the Substation gallery, where they will ‘bottle thunder’, creating kinetic assemblages from found objects and common electronic parts.
Le Corbusier famously proclaimed that the house is a machine for living in: indeed, this statement can be applied to the design and machinations of modern society. Living in this age of information technology and interactive media, cultural workers and creators are today in the unique position of being forerunners of these technologies in the fields of activism and entertainment, implementing new forms of alternative experiences and interaction between audience and their art.
Echo runs from 25th to 30th August 2020 at the Substation Gallery. A workshop will be held at 7pm on 27th August 2020, featuring artists Tay Swee Siong, Yang Jie, Sherwyn Lui, Loy Teck Pui and Syamil Dasuki, with tickets on Peatix. More information available here