Biljana Popovic | Synthetic Baby

Opening event Wednesday September 26, from 5.30pm

The Physics Room, Christchurch 

What do you think about when you are driving? For the cybernetic subject, deep thinking happens on the skin. The car is not an object to be fetishised, but a mediated lens, a transformative and existential machine with which humans have a reciprocal relationship. The car transforms how we know the world, and how the world is.

Using two pieces of recent technology—The Fortwo Smartcar and the Samsung Gear 360 camera, Synthetic Baby opens up a historical moment—namely the early 21st century—via a dance. This dance concerns the cultural role of technology, and it takes place between two sensibilities: romantic naturalism and technophilia.

Synthetic Baby is a multimedia installation that operates as a prop-opera where cyberfeminism, pop phenomenology, and theories of embodiment come together in a period piece set in the near-past. Building from previous work, Biljana Popovic explores the relationship between identity and the designed environment through the production of new socio-spatial contexts.

Tech industries do not expand in proportion to each other; digital technology is taking over the marketplace at such a rate that older tech trades like automechanics and architecture are starting to look like blacksmithery and stonemasonry. The technophile claims it is not enough to use tools, it is the love of technology that fuels innovation—and considers technophilia to be an equally legitimate position to romantic naturalism, equally capable of fighting for social justice and earthly survival.

What does freedom to identify mean in a period of sexual revolution, pumped up bodies, the metrosexual and the ‘Can I speak to the manager haircut’? Identity is losing its grip as an organising force of the body/environment/technology/politics assemblage. The feeling that washes over is a collapse between the natural and the artificial. We were always already artificial.

Public Programme: Saturday 29 September, 2pm. Exhibition Talk with Biljana Popovic and Jamie Hanton

Image: Biljana Popovic, Something Entirely Natural, 2018, film still.

The Physics Room

Date(s) - 26/09/2018 - 28/10/2018
All Day