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S-OS: Social Operating System for Plymouth – i-DAT (art review)

February 25th, 2008

posted by Kroak
- Plymouth Art Centre, 8th Feb – 6th April

take a look at Stanza's work online or at the art centre

stanza image from

Inspired by online social networking software, which to you and me is Facebook and Myspace etc, ‘the artists and researchers from i-DAT try to form a real life hub for a Plymouth’. The accompanying Introduction to the Exhibition leaflet explains the concept behind each piece – you will need this!

The show brings together very interesting and thought-provoking questions about how technology is embedded in our lives, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not is another issue. However, having been twice, I still need to go again to review, to understand and to get to grips with the ideas and the work on show. The i-DAT artists and researchers in the exhibition have used new technology creatively to produce new works. The presentation is slick, yet some basic knowledge of new programs or software may be required to fully understand the language of this show.

In the upper gallery, artist in residence Stanza is developing works using new technologies, motion sensors and surveillance cameras (interesting to note two Plymouth galleries showing works around CCTV cameras, Viewpoint Gallery and Chris Fisher’s contemporary craft and now Stanza at PAC). Stanza wants to show how the space of the gallery is the art, and this is captured through the art centre’s own CCTV cameras. We all know these cameras are everywhere and record our every move, but it was still disconcerting to witness people moving through the gallery space, a space where shouldn’t we be free to pose questions, view works? An artist decides to hang works, to place themselves on show, I’m not sure I agreed to be part of the tracking, to be part of this work.

We are challenged to view the displays, the wall-mounted monitors as works of art, and yet as social networking sites act as an inspiration, perhaps a virtual gallery with all the possible interactivity would be more appropriate? If I am required to submit information from my mobile, and to propose a new way of evaluating my exchange, is the traditional space of a white cube gallery the most effective way to witness my involvement?

i-DAT have produced works that highlights issues, tries to measure our exchanges, we input information, we willingly track our movements, and are projected walking through the space. With the S-OS: Happies by Chris Saunders, which is a rating system for your own happiness, I wonder what happens if it was a bad day or if you are then told by a computer: you are not happy, when you thought you were?

S-OS: Social Operating System is well worth checking out, I will be again, and maybe again after that…

Entry Filed under: Arts

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Media Districts Entertain&hellip  |  February 25th, 2008 at 9:58 am

    […] Peoples Republic of South Devon placed an interesting blog post on S-OS: Social Operating System for Plymouth â�� i-DAT (art review)Here’s a brief overview […]

  • 2. technology » Blog A&hellip  |  February 25th, 2008 at 11:12 am

    […] Read the rest of this great post here […]

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