Launched today to coincide with the Whitechapel Gallery’s landmark exhibition Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966), a new work by Swedish artist Jonas Lund (b. 1984), Fair Warning (2016),invites the public to respond to a series of over 300 questions online.
Jointly commissioned by the Whitechapel Gallery and Phillips, Fair Warning plays with expectations of popular online questionnaires or personality tests, to examine the use of data collection when attempting to represent user tastes. Fair Warning also questions how the value of a work of art differs in the market, the gallery and the digital sphere, and whether an objective way of measuring value exists.
Participants will be asked questions ranging from their colour preferences, politics, and emotions to the latest trends in art. Sample questions include ‘Will the future be great?’, ‘How are you feeling today?’, or asking the viewer to choose between an image of Hilary Clinton or Edward Snowden. To interact with the work, participants can click one or several answers for each question. The whole test can last up to an hour, and repeats itself indefinitely.
Accessible via the Whitechapel Gallery and Phillips websites, Fair Warning attempts to demystify website analytics and testing tools; the clicks and cursors of other website users can be seen when they are engaging with the work. In addition, a related artwork showing how the visitors have been interacting with the online work will also be on display at both the Whitechapel Gallery and Phillips’ London from 7 April until 12 June 2016.
Jonas Lund creates installations, websites and performances that incorporate data from his analysis of art-world systems and behaviours, including stylistic trends, buying patterns and curatorship. Examining the relationship between artistic production and commerce, Lund uses algorithms to collect and interpret this information which is then transformed into works that reflect on current speculation and profit within the art market.
Jonas Lund says, ‘We’re living in the age of metrics and quantification. Every part of our daily lives is being measured and evaluated… While statisticians and big data prophets swear by the value of its quantification, there is room to question the efficiency and bias it creates in its path.’
Emily Butler, Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Curator at Whitechapel Gallery says: ‘We are very excited take our first journey into online commissioning with Jonas Lund, who has created a pertinent work asking important questions about the value of art in a globalised, technologised society.’
Megan Newcome, Phillips says: ‘As part of our global programme of partnerships with world class institutions, Phillips is honored to have opportunity to work with the Whitechapel Gallery and artist Jonas Lund. This project brings an innovative online commission to life, and we are particularly pleased to be continuing our support for artists who explore the meaning of contemporary art in the digital age.’
Notes to Editors
– Jonas Lund earned an MA at Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam (2013) and a BFA at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam (2009). He had solo exhibitions at Showroom MAMA, Rotterdam (2013) and Steve Turner (2014) and has had work included in numerous group exhibitions including at Eyebeam, New York; New Museum, New York, Xpo Gallery, Paris; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and De Hallen, Haarlem.
– For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. With beautiful galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, dining room and bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, so there is always something free to see. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.
– Phillips is a leading global platform for buying and selling 20th and 21st Century art and design. Offering professional services and advice on all aspects of collecting, Phillips is committed to exploring the ways in which technology is providing new channels to engage with and collect art. Phillips offers an online auction platform accessible anywhere in the world, with live auctions and exhibitions in salerooms in New York, London and Geneva and Hong Kong.
– Electronic Superhighway (2016-1966) is a landmark exhibition on show at the Whitechapel Gallery (15 January – 15 May 2016) that brings together over 100 artworks to show the impact of computer and Internet technologies on artists from the mid-1960s to the present day. It features new and rarely seen multimedia works, together with film, painting, sculpture, photography and drawing by over 70 artists. The exhibition title Electronic Superhighway is taken from a term coined in 1974 by South Korean video art pioneer Nam June Paik, who foresaw the potential of global connections through technology. Arranged in reverse chronological order, Electronic Superhighway begins with works made between 2000 – 2016, and ends with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an iconic, artistic moment that took place in 1966. Spanning 50 years, from 2016 to 1966, key moments in the history of art and the Internet emerge as the exhibition travels back in time.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 6pm, Thursdays, 11am – 9pm. Free entry. Whitechapel Gallery, 77 – 82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX. Nearest London Underground Station: Aldgate East, Liverpool Street, Tower Gateway DLR. T + 44 (0) 20 7522 7888 firstname.lastname@example.org
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