Written for Net Narrative
The kettle sits in front of you across the kitchen. It’s a smart kettle; in communication with its user and its environment, it clicks itself off when the water reaches boiling point. Up its shell run measurements, offering you both cups and litres. A window lets you visualise water, and from this you visualise coffee. You run your hand up its side as it begins to shake, and you wait. Early each morning, you would come down and watch it slowly vibrate as you placed two mugs beside it. You would pour the coffee into each mug; you couldn’t be more unenergetically excited to be awake. The kitchen table’s very empty; it could do with a clean, this kettle. It clicks in accordance, you finger your mug and wait. Steam slowly emerges.
An object sits in front of you in a gallery. We live today in a society of multiple contexts; we all have phones and computers, we meet people with their profiles in mind. Layered realities are simple to us. The object exists within this, it is transparent and open and in motion. Information travels through it.
The aim of this exhibition is to consider in what ways narrative might be not simply a mode of perception, but a mode of politicisation. "Politicisation" is used here in the soft sense; as a way of being. What narrative offers is the suggestion of unity through context, in a way that remains coherent across the temporal and spatial discontinuities that we’ve come to accept as part of contemporary, networked living. Yet it is also, crucially, not passive. It’s impossible to exist in the world without creating, and what we create is reality. This exhibition wishes to explore these realities.
Narrative is about constructing life stories as we deconstruct the systems that produce them. It is an exploration of process as form.
Net Narrative, an exhibition featuring the work of Iain Ball, Ed Fornieles, Marlie Mul, Katja Novitskova, Ben Vickers, Holly White and Artie Vierkant, takes as its origin the ways in which narrative might be deployed after the internet.