Outernet Arts announces Dotcom Séance, a major public project by artist Simon Denny installed across the world’s largest wrap-around screens in London’s Soho neighbourhood, free and accessible to the public, launching on Sunday 16 October at 12pm.
The commission is organised by Outernet Arts, a new initiative heralding the biggest digital exhibition space in Europe, dedicated to presenting contemporary art via year-round programming in central London. The art programme will take place at Outernet London, a brand new media and culture district at the centre of which is The Now Building, the most advanced immersive space to date featuring 23,000 square feet of floor-to-ceiling, 360-degree, 16K screens across four storeys.
Dotcom Seance at Outernet Arts brings the ghosts of the internet’s commercial past to a spectacular business portal in meatspace, to speculate about where the internet meets the future of culture.
Denny’s exhibition inaugurating Outernet Arts coincides with Frieze London 2022, noting the newly-formed partnership between the two organisations. To mark the occasion, Outernet Arts will host a private view panel discussion moderated by Daniel Birnbaum with Simon Denny, Maria Paula Fernandez, Guile Twardowski and Marco Brambilla on Thursday 13 October. Following this special preview, Dotcom Séance will be on view every Sunday between 12.00-18.00, from 16 October through 4th December 2022.
Dotcom Séance is an expansive digital installation reflecting core facets of Denny’s work, which explores technology’s sustained influence upon global cultural and political development, with particular focus on the tech industry. For this project, the artist has selected 21 dotcom era companies declared ‘dead’ in the wake of the ostensible dotcom crash in the early 2000s, with the purpose of “resurrecting” their existence as it stands in a contemporary setting. In bringing these companies back to life, Denny seeks to reevaluate their relevance in the context of Web3, motivated by the resurgence in popularity today of many dead companies’ business models. In doing so, Denny highlights the cyclical nature of business strategies within the history of the technology industry.
“The Outernet Arts programme has at its heart a desire to create an intimacy between the viewer and the artist while presenting work on an unprecedented scale using state-of-the-art technology.”
Each company was given a number of new logos produced by text-to-image Artificial Intelligence, created in collaboration with Cosmographia, thus demonstrating the relationship between Web1 and Web3 through a visual manifestation of these companies’ “ghosts” and respective histories. These new logos, which take the form of NFTs, entitle their holders to register an ENS subdomain and serve as “employees” of the reanimated company. The artist Guile Twardowski also designed a bespoke new logo for each company, drawing on the AI outputs. The project’s first iteration went live through the online gallery Folia.app.
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