All My Friends Are In The Cloud presents a video-sculpture and new interactive installation by New York-based Irish artist and filmmaker Jonah King. In the artist’s words, the work “celebrates the resilience of human tenderness within the sleepless mechanisms of digital technology.” The project examines the contradictions of connection in an age when human intimacy is often at odds with our “always-on” digital realities. The show centers on an ever-expanding digital archive viewed via a pillar of monitors. Images of people embracing gently spin and scroll upward like video clips in a social media feed. As the images ascend, they unfurl into a whirl of digital fragments. By the time each embrace reaches the top of the screen, its image has disintegrated completely.
This exhibition is titled for King’s ongoing project of the same name, but this installation dramatically expands the scope of the project. The embrace that is central to this work is no longer one that is merely witnessed on-screen but instead enacted by participants. As part of this exhibition, King has been working with University Galleries’ staff and students in the College of Fine Arts’ Program in Arts Technology to develop a new interactive artwork that will allow members of the public to participate in this process. Participants—whose images will be joined with those in the adjacent gallery—will also see their own likenesses ascend, unfurl, and disintegrate.
King’s work prompts visitors to reflect upon the physical embrace itself, and also, by way of the camera documenting them, the services to which we willingly grant our data and the technological surveillance under which we willingly put ourselves in the name of “connectedness.” By doing so, the artist states, “this work places human vulnerability center stage.” Through simple everyday gestures, University Galleries’ visitors will actively share in a greater conversation about the ways we engage with the digital world.
All events are free and open to the public. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 309.438.5487 to schedule exhibition tours.
Jonah King: All My Friends Are In The Cloud is organized by University Galleries’ Graduate Assistant and Arts Technology M.S. Candidate Zach Buckley and is sponsored in part by grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Alice and Fannie Fell Trust.
This exhibition is also made possible through a close collaboration between University Galleries and the Arts Technology Program in the College of Fine Arts. Students from the Arts Technology Program worked with King to create new technology solutions for the exhibition. In particular, Arts Technology M.S. Candidates Luke Lowers, Hananosuke Takimoto, and Bret Williams provided invaluable assistance in developing both hardware and software solutions for All My Friends Are In The Cloud.
King’s work has been exhibited at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Jewish Museum, New York City; Fotografiska, Stockholm; Clima, Milan; Weekend, Seoul; and MEYOHAS, New York City. His films have received awards at the Oberhausen Film Festival and London International Motion Pictures Awards, among others. This year he is co-producing his first play at the Dublin Fringe Festival. King was born in Dublin and lives and works in Brooklyn. He received a BFA in Fine Art Media from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin; an MFA from Columbia University, New York City; and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Maine.
Friday, September 13
Friday, September 13
5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Monday, September 16