To Utility and Beyond: Interface Experiments in New Media and Game Art, was the anchor exhibition for the 2015 edition of the Vector Festival (Co-Curated by Martin Zeilinger and myself). The exhibition addressed the cultural preoccupations with the interface, something that had become a bit of a prescient topic in 2015, both in the art world and in new media scholarship.
For this exhibition, we wanted to address the ways in which artists and game makers critically engage with the theme of interface, and how their experiments act not simply to address the aesthetic and technological functions, but also address the interface's political dimensions.
The works in the exhibition addressed a myriad of themes in relation to the interface, including gender, sexuality, interface fetishism, historiography, automaton, and not-human agency. The title outlines this by highlighting that artists critically engage with interfaces beyond notions of utility, that is to say, beyond the usual discussions of what makes an interface useful. Instead we ask, what are the contemporary cultural conditions of the interface, and how can they be imagined differently?
Connor Campbell (CAN)
Kieran Nolan (IRL)
Juliana Riska/Dorian Reunkrilerk/Loriane Stary/Kim Boldt (FRA)
Kara Stone/Nadine Lessio (CAN)
Kim Hoang/Ben Swinden/Zachary Soares/Hamish Lambert (CAN)
Jochen Zeirzer (AUT)