Digital Diaspora
March 2, 2019
April 13, 2019
February 28, 2019
Centrala, Unit 4 Minerva Works,
0121 439 3050
158 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, B5 5RT , United Kingdom

Based on the topics of unity and division this timely project lays particular emphasis on Europe as its arrival marks 30 years since the overthrow of Communist regimes. The exhibition provides an opportunity to reflect on the collapse of the Eastern Bloc and the unity of Europe, whilst contrastingly taking place during Brexit and other independence movements. Through performative action, immersive and interactive measures, artists’ work directly responds to the current socio-political climate of the continent addressing key issues of migration, borders, territory, cultural identity, belonging and isolation.

In the new work ‘Mapping Through Network Technologies’, Jens Masimov continues to explore his Armenian, Swedish, and Finnish heritage and history. A home server acts as a virtual headspace wherein a reality and a simulation intertwine. The server will be accessible 24/7 for anyone with internet access. This open-source way of working and distribution mirrors Masimov’s lived experiences and emotions concerning mixed identities and the constant multidirectional motion that ensues.

Referencing video game aesthetics, Anna Jochymek’s three-channel video installation depicts the artist navigating the streets of London, following the Roman Wall that demarcates the first border of city, dressed as an inline-skating soldier in her father’s old military uniform. Borrowing the title from Elias Canetti’s noted tome ‘Mass and Power’ the artist’s work ‘Crowd Crystal (in progress)’ seeks to create a subtle shift in the environment from the position of the migrant.

Other works take a more cynical stance ridiculing the mass media for amplifying public anxiety through fearmongering tactics as seen in Tamara Kametani’s work ‘Total Security Life’, a fictional company specialising in security solutions. The work is compounded in the form of a CGI film modelled using corporate and advertising aesthetics, a website and a commercial trade fair stand that sells walls to keep unwanted people out.

Zoë Aiano’s film ‘Skywalker’ features a group of witches from Eastern Serbia who are trained in issues related to crossing borders, offering guidance on how to secure foreign papers and casting spells to facilitate freedom of movement.

Running 2/3 – 13/4 Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am – 6pm