We are living now in an era where new digital technologies based on automated procedures and agents are de facto mediating between us and the world, and cannot thus be perceived just as signifiers of a future horizon, but do mark a new phenomenological phase in human existence. Many of these technologies have matured and have practical implementations which are used as part of our daily lives, and and they arouse greater concern about the ways these technologies influence our emotional states and take part in constructing our identities, both as individuals and as part of the community. ”IL(L) Machine” suggests and examines these new relations between automated procedures performed by machines in direct relation to real life. The works presented tackle machine automation either as entities which have physical manifestation in the world, or through actions originating in algorithms which manipulate data in virtual spaces through time, in effect reconstructing the reality we encounter.
The exhibition focuses on two main perspectives in relation to automation mechanisms and hence to the ways they are emotionally and ideologically approached. The first approach derives from the realization of the power of computer algorithms in data analysis that can be considered analogous to the act of mapping. Following Deleuze and Guattari’s distinction between mapping? and tracing, it can be claimed that the new computational technologies enable “uncovering realities previously unseen or unimagined”, and therefore unfold potential grounds.Those potential grounds can reveal phenomena related to psychological, social and political issues in a way that sheds new light on historical as well as current reality, making it possible to decipher our world in new ways.
The second approach is related to the concept of “transcoding” used by Lev Manovich, which claims that computerizations of culture involve the projection of the machine’s unique ontology onto the cultural space.Thus, machines are not simply the tools we use, but they reconstruct our cultural reality. As such, they can be the stimulators of the constitution of new power relations and structures of control in new emerging spatial and temporal dimensions. This is related to generative mechanisms as well as to representational ones.
The “IL(L) Machine” exhibition shows a new generation of artists emerging from art academies and research institutions, bringing forth a critical examination of the relations to technology as the manifestation of a new era. In a country characterized by a very active and innovative high-tech industry with a charged historic identity and profound political conflicts, this critical approach leads to different perspectives regarding the influence of new technology on our society. This exhibition reflects the living and present conflict of Israeli art which pivots around the urge to relate to complex local issues on the one hand, and on the other hand aspires to take its place within the ongoing global discourse.