Blind Ditch

Museum of Contemporary Commodities – commissions & screenings

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A series of artist commissions, exhibitions, workshops and film screenings curated to support the MoCC project in Exeter.

A Curation, Participatory, Interdisciplinary and Workshop project.

Location
Exeter
Documents
Find more videos, sounds and writing from Museum of Contemporary Commodities – commissions & screenings

This series of art and cultural events offered more opportunities for publics to get involved in activities and discussions on Museum of Contemporary Commodities project themes of data, trade, place and values. We also hosted some exciting national and international visitors in Exeter.

Data Buffet by Autonomous Tech Fetish

Using the GSR sensor gloves in 'Cuppa Data' by Autonomous Tech Fetish

Wait what? I am listening to my own body, that's amazing!

Participant in Cuppa Data

Using a playful and critical approach to digital data and new technologies, Autonomous Tech Fetish created DIY wearables to explore how we consume data and how it consumes us. Partnering with Libraries Unlimited and St Sidwell’s Community Centre, they presented a series of artworks – ­ ‘data dishes’ and ‘cutlery contraptions’ ­ produced from local data as part of a new work called Data Buffet: All You Can Input. This was the culmination of two months research in Exeter and in London. The result was a selection of artworks that reimagined the digital in the context of our day-to-day lives.


This is very interesting, we work with the medical sides of these technologies, seeing it in an art context is really fantastic.

Data Buffet participant

From health records to supermarkets, benefit monitoring to data-driven dairies, the processes that data systems enable and require affect and impact on our bodies in countless ways. The three projects served in the Data Buffet used locally sourced data and materials generated by everyday activities in Exeter cafes and eateries. Each work was an experiment that treated data as something embodied in everyday life and capable of effecting change in the world, even if we cannot always see or hear it. By reclaiming data from unlikely sources and creating new flows and processes with it, we can begin to sense the power of data to change our bodies and environment – creating new forms of economic, social and political value.


Learning about the different ways and problems of translating data and making it meaningful was very insightful

ATF workshop participant

Re-making the Internet by Louise Ashcroft


I went to Louise’s workshop expecting to make things from paper and cardboard, and instead found myself in the middle of an exciting conversation about the digital world that spilled out onto the nearby streets and became a dérive, through which I saw my home city afresh.

Re-making the Internet workshop participant

Ready to begin re-making at St Sidwell's Community Centre

In May 2016 artist Louise Ashcroft set off a rumour that the internet was going to be re-built from scratch, in the unlikely tech-hub of Exeter. A video trailer was exhibited at Exeter Phoenix to catalyse discussion about how and why we might want to remake this global information network in a local, fairly rural context. The idea of a community reaching a consensus and cooperatively remaking the Internet was a contrast to the way the Internet itself evolves disparately; a cacophony of discordant international voices fighting for clicks.


It was better than I could have ever hoped, in terms of the quality of engagement and the depth of the content it generated. Being able to work with people from so many different backgrounds and age groups meant that the content of conversations, sculptures, and texts generated by the workshops was very rich and varied.

Louise Ashcroft, artist

The project worked with different local community groups: tech-savvy children from Code Club, the artist collective Preston Street Union, students passing through a foyer space at University of Exeter, drop-in participants at Exeter Phoenix, and the people of St Sidwell’s community centre. By thinking about how we could remake the internet, we considered what it is about digital culture that we value, and what we want to change.

Louise translated the notes she made in the workshops into a series of diagrams which can be viewed HERE. Concepts such as adding eyeholes to all the screens, a Netflix for dreams, a local yodelling subculture, ‘eye-contact walks’, or an experimental ‘front-door theatre’ where people peer into one another’s private spaces; use humour to explore complex subjects such as voyeurism, loneliness and empathy. The diagrams are recipes for ways of being and relating to one another, perhaps parodying Internet culture as a means of understanding the primal, core human traits that technology appeals to, accentuates and transforms.

Art-Articles by Konstantin Bayer

A work from Art-Articles on display at TOPOS

Curated in partnership with TOPOS Exeter, Art-Articles by Berlin based Konstantin Bayer is an exhibition that invites you to follow the artist’s plans to build your own installation out of things bought off Amazon. The exhibition at TOPOS was accompanied by an evening discussion event on material cultures, digital systems and socially engaged art practices. Funded by University of Exeter Geography Department.

Project curated and produced by Paula Crutchlow and Ian Cook in collaboration with Exeter Phoenix, Fab Lab Devon and Libraries Unlimited, St Sidwell’s Community Centre and Volkhardt Mueller/TOPOS.

Funded by Arts Council England Lottery Fund, Economic and Social Research Council, and University of Exeter Geography Department.