Beginning on Sunday, 20 November, a weeklong series entitled “d1sc0nN3ct” will launch at the Townhouse Factory Space, featuring artists working in Cairo, Alexandria and abroad. Participating artists will include Amr Ali, Emma Benany, Kareem Lotfy, Sarah Samy and Ahmed El-Shaer.
Working with new media platforms, the artists share a common interest in taking digital forms that circulate as commodities and rendering them useless – such as creating video games that can’t be won; web pages that can’t be navigated; or digital images that fail to communicate.
Much of the work featured in d1sc0nN3ct falls in or around the domain of “glitch.” The term refers to an error in a system, when, for instance, there is a mistranslation between file types, circuitry is damaged, or an obsolete piece of equipment is asked to read a new type of software. When these disruptions in transmission occur, the user is confronted with a visual and/or auditory artefact; an unexpected and inscrutable signifier of a process gone wrong.
These artists take the residues of failed attempts at digital communication and turn them into poetic, aesthetic acts. The jarring, disturbing – or surprisingly beautiful – results can serve as a Dada-esque tribute to destruction; an ephemeral encounter with accidental moments of beauty; or subversive signs that point to the cracks in goal-oriented, upgrade-obsessed consumer culture. Collectively, these dirty new media works subtly interrogate the systems of power that underpin the realm of the digital, creating a playful and disruptive static in the channels of communication.
In addition to the gallery show at the Townhouse Factory Space, d1sc0nN3ct features a daily series of programs on issues related to glitch, net-based and digital art. Many artists working with a digital and/or net-based practice find traditional gallery modes of presentation unsatisfactory. d1sc0nN3ct explores different exhibition formats to allow for varied interactions with these immaterial forms.
Monday, 21 November, at 7pm
Virtual artist talk: Nick Briz
Tuesday, 22 November, at 7pm
Glitch Video Night
Wednesday, 23 November, from 6pm to 9pm
Cairo Hackerspace Workshop
Townhouse Factory Space
Thursday, 24 November, from 7pm to 9pm
“Talk To Me”: Speed Show Cairo
InterClub Internet Café
12 Talaat Harb St., Downtown Cairo
Saturday, 26 November, from 6pm to 9pm
BYOB (Bring Your Own Beamer) CAIRO
Townhouse Factory Space
The Townhouse Gallery
10 Nabrawy St., off Champollion St., Downtown Cairo