UTS Image, Interrupted

Rebecca Varidel
17th Jan 2024

Image, Interrupted
Nicholas Aloisio-Shearer, Kiera Brew Kurec, Xanthe Dobbie, Ash Garwood, Maya Kilic, Ella Sutherland

Curated by Eleanor Zeichner
13 February – 12 April 2024

The first UTS Gallery exhibition in our 2024 program, Image, Interrupted considers the ways in which the data generated image is troubled by artistic strategies of deflection, disruption and subterfuge. New and recent works by 6 contemporary Australian and Aotearoa/New Zealand artists working across photography, painting, textile and video reveal loopholes in the technologies that shape image-making today. In these works, data is used as a material, a subject and a non-human collaborator and reveals its effect on politics, storytelling, the environment, warfare and sex.

New commissions by artists Xanthe Dobbie, Maya Kilic and Kiera Brew Kurec explore the constraints of a techno-utopian future. Xanthe Dobbie’s video work, FutureSex/Love Sounds (2024), proposes a radical scenario in which AI technology calls for erotic revolution, deploying deepfake avatars of public figures such as Morgan Freeman, Hilary Clinton and Cate Blanchett to espouse the virtues of sex robots. Maya Kilic's uses ChatGPT prompts to produce floral still-life montages adulterated with the garbage that will outlive us, and Kiera Brew Kurec's sculptural video installation documents how people continue to confound military surveillance in war-torn Ukraine.

Image, Interrupted also considers the extent to which data technologies mediate our desires, and influence our narratives, in visible and invisible ways. Ash Garwood constructs a meticulous photographic fiction that challenges the colonial histories of nature photography and Ella Sutherland uses the graphic composition of the contemporary electoral campaign to challenge the absurdity of binary choice. Nicholas Aloisio-Shearer mines the folklore of the internet to co-author a graphic novel with DALL-E 2, exposing the cultural values and biases of the source material he seeks to undermine.

"Artists have always been at the forefront of experimenting with new technologies and grappling with the ethical and moral repercussions of new ways of seeing and being seen. This exhibition locates the practices of these six artists in an institution committed to teaching, learning and research on the responsible uses of technology" explains Curator Eleanor Zeichner.