Over the coming months Electric Artefacts will be presenting various projects and collaborations under the theme of Technoromanticism. Originally coined in the nineties as a derogatory term for those overestimating the power of the internet as a force for good, Electric Artefacts will be reevaluating the relevance of romanticism for new media art today.
A series of exhibitions centred around a reconceptualization of classical romanticism in the context of the digital. Romanticism, as a reaction to the age of enlightenment, advocated for a return to nature and the irrational. Perhaps digital romanticism can do the same, but with the tongue-in-cheek qualities so characteristic of internet culture, suffused with a macabre irony that circles back around to the gothic undercurrents of romanticism; the ‘weltschmerz’ as one witnesses a decaying world, the sublime beauty of apocalyptic destruction; the ‘sehnsucht,’ or the yearning for the safe past, running off on holidays that make us feel like nothing has changed. All of this alongside the knowledge that perhaps the original romanticists were indeed correct, and Frankenstein’s monster is tearing us apart.
Possible works of art may glorify; they may deal with topics of destruction; they may warn us of our reliance on technology. Maybe they are rooted in nostalgia, have a romanticist aesthetic, or bring up human’s relation to nature vs. technology. Or perhaps they simply play with the idea of a romanticised reality. Don’t we run to our virtual and made-up worlds in an attempt to escape?
Read our latest article Visions of Technoromanticism - The Digital Prometheus