In the Spirit of Working Together

05/04/2012

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, to make more time, to bring us closer together. Yet, it often does the opposite – we become frustrated when it doesn’t work as desired, or when it breaks down faster and more regularly than expected. We often waste time because of technology. And most certainly while it may intend to bring us together, technology cleaves human relationships – at once rendering our access richer but the quality poorer.  Western society now mediates contact through technology; but the key word here is mediation. At once a tool to build community, technology works to keep us cloistered.

What happens when we take that  “broken” technology - that can no longer even pretend to bring us closer, and give it to artists? The Artifact Institute is setting up shop with  Service 1, which offers a veritable option for creating and engaging community through the detritus of technology. The Artifact Institute will be inhabiting the gallery where they will be consulting on what to do with broken, useless, obsolete or unwanted electronics. Artifact Institute personnel Adam Kelly and Tim Dallett work together to breathe new ideas, if not life, into these artifacts.  Without necessarily physically transforming the object, the Artifact Institute works with the community to see new opportunities in the objects collecting virtual dust in their community.

The Artifact Institute’s interventionist project can be read as a part of a larger discourse on hacker/maker/DIY culture and the idea of obsolescence/waste/reuse currently being hashed out. But more importantly, it should be read as part of the desire of articule to bring art to a public with an interest in getting involved.

What does it mean for an artist to engage with community? The Artifact Institute runs an important operation  – as mediators between the gallery and the public they use the objects brought in to their pop-up workshops as a springboard for discussion. The Artifact Institute works with the public to come up with solutions about small technological problems, creating dialogue about larger issues along the way.


Amber Berson is passionate about art and its potential for social change. Her current research focuses on art and mourning, museum practices, narrative theory, and vernacular collections. Her Masters thesis at Concordia University considered how missing and murdered Aboriginal women have been depicted in Canadian Art. She works at Eastern Bloc and most recently co-curated SIGHTandSOUND 2 and Espèces vulnérables at Eastern Bloc, In Your Footsteps at the VAV gallery, Rearranging Desires: Curating the Other Within at the FOFA and We lived on a map... at the Centre for Ethnographic Research and Exhibition in the Aftermath of Violence  (CEREV) exhibition space.

Participating artists: 
Amber Berson

contact articule

262 Fairmount O. 
Montréal Québec 
H2V 2G3 Canada 

tel: 514 842 9686  


e: info @ articule.org

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