A Travel Log of Technoromanticism

Currently two exhibitions into exploring the themes surrounding Technoromanticism, the moment presents itself to survey how the various ideas and aesthetics create the mosaic of our concept -  and hint towards what it may reveal in the weeks and months to come. Ahead of our upcoming solo show of Sven Eberwein, this short article functions simply as one possible roadmap navigating our expeditions into Technoromanticism, but we’d like to note there are many other routes to take through the landscape as well.

Back in December Electric Artefacts presented its second exhibition, curated by Off Site Project Vacation at the End of the World. In conjunction with introducing our theme of Technoromanticism, the show gave insight into the fantastical journeys our imagination can embark on through creative technology - the “chimaeras of boundless grandeur” and the post-apocalyptic splendour of unbridled tech-hedonism. Maybe you considered purchasing a duplex to escape the rising sea levels from Alice Bucknell’s “E-Z Kryptobuild”, or are still planning your “Royal Retreat” to view Léa Porré turn French king Louis XVI into a yoga-practicing influencer (in which case: we recommend you check out Off Site Project’s latest exhibition featuring the king!).

Léa Porré, Royal Retreat, 2020

Following on, in February Umanesimo Artificiale curated our next exhibition titled Uno, Nessuno, Centomila. If the previous show illustrated the sceneries of Technoromanticism, this one journeyed inwards into the perceptions of self through the lens of artificial intelligence. Many parallels exist between Mary Shelley’s monster of Dr. Frankenstein, and our reactions to AI. If AI is the misunderstood monster, Chrystal Ding’s work demonstrates what it might look like if the monster tries to help us, reminding of a human beginning in the entities we create. Alternatively, Mike Tyka’s work very literally lends the monsters of Twitterbots a face. Each of the works in the exhibition gave shape, a name and countenance to the vague vanguards of technology.

As spring rolls around, we look onwards towards what territories of Technoromanticism we have yet to traverse, lying in wait to amaze and humble us. So far the journey has been poetic in nature, but never quite losing sight of the ways in which we sometimes literally romanticise technology. However, if this voyage has taught us anything, it’s that our technological advances exist in symbiosis with our imagination - and even our most romanticised mirages exist by our hands.

Chrystal Ding, Performance IV: Clinic, 2020

Cover image still of AImnesia. Memory 0.3 by Chris Kore

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Electric Artefacts

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