Cyphoria

Curated by Domenico Quaranta

ALTERAZIONI VIDEO, ENRICO BOCCIOLETTI, MARA OSCAR CASSIANI, PAOLO CIRIO, ROBERTO FASSONE, GIOVANNI FREDI, ELISA GIARDINA PAPA, KAMILIA KARD, EVA E FRANCO MATTES, SIMONE MONSI, QUAYOLA, FEDERICO SOLMI, MARCO STRAPPATO, NATÁLIA TREJBATOVÁ

“We live in an era infused with mediation, which has found its way into every aspect of life, experience, imagination and story-telling. Politics, the economy, work, forms of communication and society, but also intimacy and dreams have been overturned by the impact of digital media. Issues such as privacy, surveillance and the capitalization of social life define an important part of what we call the present. Cyphoria, the section I am curating at the 16th Art Quadriennale, raises these questions and investigates how they are reflected in Italian contemporary art.”

Domenico Quaranta

The last twenty-five years have seen the progressive extension to the entire globalized world of the political, economic, social and cultural consequences of a technological evolution that began after the Second World War. It is no coincidence that we have chosen to use the term “evolution” instead of the more commonplace “revolution”: while a revolution occurs at a specific moment in time, evolution knows no reprieve, and the series of changes and the speed at which they took place played a precise role in shaping the contemporary condition. There is no aspect of life that has not been transformed by the meeting and clash with the digital data flows that come from the computer, a universal medium, and travel over networks, and by the experience of mediation.

Cyphoria, is an exhibition that aims to investigate the way in which the contemporary condition is reflected in the work of some Italian artists who started to work, at different times, during the course of this evolution. According to Basar, Coupland and Obrist, the expression ‒ a neologism that combines the prefix cyber and the termdysphoria ‒ describes the state of those who believe that the Internet is the real world. However, it has been adopted here to describe the effort and discomfort involved in living a condition that man has produced, but has not been instructed how to inhabit, of deciphering and revealing the languages and the influence on forms of work, communication, social life and politics, of adopting and shaping aesthetics and imaginations. The exhibition brings together artists who explore this condition both in its public dimension ‒ tackling issues such as censorship, the intellectual property crisis, surveillance, the new black economies of the web, the ubiquity of the production of cultural artefacts ‒ and in its private dimension, investigating the intimate and personal consequences introduced by hyperconnection, accelerationism, the deluge of information, and the new balance between public and private dimension to which living in the web has accustomed us.

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