As technology grows more sophisticated everyday, gadgets and pieces of equipment can seem to take on a life of their own: smart phones organise our lives for us, fridges give us advice on what to eat for dinner and websites remember our internet browsing history.
In this touring exhibition curator Mark Leckey seeks to explore some of the ways in which modern technology comes to life. Placed among the unnerving modern pieces of technology are much older artifects, like an Egyptian cat mummy, a stone gargole and a “Squeeze/Hug Machine”, designed to calm hyper-sensitive people (that is, if you’re the kind of hypersensitive person who finds being squeezed by a machine calming).
These objects and machines come together with artworks by a variety of contemporary artists, in an attempt to create a thought-provoking – and perhaps somewhat creepy – examination of the way humans craft things that then seem to develop a life of their own.
The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things is on at the Bluecoat, Liverpool until 14 April, before travelling to the Nottingham Contemporary from 27 April to 30 June and the De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill, from 12 July to 20 October.
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