arebyte Gallery presents Kate Frances Lingard’s first solo exhibition, Mechanisms of Care. Kate was the final selected artist of the gallery’s annual young artist development programme, hotel generation. The exhibition involves an adapted, illustrated set of playing cards. These become props to explore whether love, care and intimacy of relationships can alter deeply rooted ideologies surrounding existing frameworks of the financial, societal and the political realms.
Through engaging with the game, visitors are invited to consider how the structures they play within engender priorities of attention, to rethink the kinds of relation that structure this space, and prioritise an ethics of care. Including work and commissioned hypertext games from peer artists, Mechanisms of Care looks to the perspective of a learner, to the process of study, to the non-expert, to value creation through play.
Mechanisms of care emerges from the fraught and complex convergence of social, economic and technological space. In trying to navigate this pervasive architecture of power, decentralised and distributed systems hold the potential as organisational tools in the digital commons, allowing us to rethink the kinds of social relation that structure this space, to prioritise an ethics of care.
Care and its labor has been systematically undervalued, constrained by the distribution and management of economic resources. The exhibition looks to an understanding of care as a collective and structural practice not only for others but with others, questioning how care translates into the governance of the digital commons and the relations this is formed upon. By identifying ‘care’ as an essential category of value creation, what is valued does not need to be connected to a capitalist-defined profitability. We can begin to see how care work/labour is linked to other non-market realms of value creation, like the commons or gifts, both of which are vulnerable to market changes and enclosure.