A Hayward Touring show in which the Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Leckey explored the tenuous boundaries between the virtual and the real, between the ‘dumb’ and the animate. As modern technology becomes ever more sophisticated and pervasive, objects appear to communicate with us: our phones talk back, refrigerators suggest recipes and websites seem to anticipate our desires.
The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things presented a kind of 'techno-animism', where the inanimate came to life, returning us to ‘an archaic state of being, to aboriginal landscapes of fabulous hybrid creatures, where images are endowed with divine powers, and even rocks and trees have names’.
Through a conceptual assemblage of archaeological artefacts, contemporary artworks and visionary machines, Leckey proposed an exemplary network of objects - an Internet of Things, all communicating, talking away to one another, and implicitly, looking back at us.
The exhibition was loosely grouped into ‘leaky typologies’: Man/Bodies, including angels and monsters; Animals, including mummies, fossils and chimeras; and Machines, with circuitry, scientific and medical devices, and spare gadgets.
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