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"Cyborg Manifesto, or The Joy of Artifice"
2001-04-15 until 2001-07-08
Laguna Art Museum
Laguna Beach, CA, USA United States of America

Cyborg Manifesto, or The Joy of Artifice is a group exhibition that looks at the interrelationship of technology, nature, and culture. The exhibition includes the works of 24 artists, mostly from California, presenting approximately 70 artworks ranging from installations, photo-based work, sculpture, and drawings. Artists in the exhibition include S.E. Barnet, Mark Bennett, Doug Buis, Clare Cornell, Carlee Fernandez, Chris Finley, Ed Giardina, Ken Gonzales-Day, Jen Zen Grey, Jon Haddock, Evan Holloway, Susan Hornbeak-Ortiz, Mike Kelley, Amy Myers, Rubén Ortiz Torres, Naida Osline, Tony Oursler, Paul Paiement, Carrie Paterson, Alan Rath, H Shahani, George Stone, Chris Wilder, and Jody Zellen.

Theorist Donna Haraway coined a portion of the title, Cyborg Manifesto. She wrote, the cyborg is resolutely committed to partiality, irony, intimacy, and perversity. However when boundaries are being transgressed and when fusions create new entities, then it is hard to discern between the natural and artificial, especially in today’s techno- logically mediated society. Cyborg Manifesto, or The Joy of Artifice, is a celebration of these contradictions, complexities, and confusions of the human condition.

The artists in this exhibit recognize that they live in a technology driven society, and are indeed complicit with it. For the most part, their work does not judge this condition, nor does it praise it, but rather it attempts to be an entry point by which to enter such a world with a perspective that is meant to remind us of ourselves. In this light, many of the artists in the show use low-tech materials or use traditional media in order to look at the high-tech. It is an approach that is meant to bring a sense of vulnerability to a subject that for many seems overwhelming

The exhibit explores a territory that falls somewhere between a fear of technology as a product of our own making, and a view towards technology as a path towards progress--one, that for many, leads to a kind of spiritual transcendence. In this light, the cyborg, a hybrid of machine and organism, is used as a metaphor for navigating the boundaries between what is science fiction and what is real in an effort to reexamine body politics, gender, technology, and society.

Ken Gonzales-Day
Untitled #94,1999
50 x 43
Ectacolor print

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