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Science Fiction: New Death seeks to provoke the question – have the Sci Fi visions we once imagined of the future since become a reality? The exhibition presents works of art that explore these questions and considers how technology has created new ways of living, fashioning new identities, forms of intimacy and desire. This has occurred in tandem with the growth of cult-like communities both online and in physical space, the conceit of social media, and the hyperrealist architecture of computer screens. Arguably, our everyday lives have increasingly become a form of science fiction.
The author China Miéville has produced a new series of texts that have inspired the narrative of the exhibition. Here, the exhibition is presented as a deconstructed film set, with the curator acting as director, the artists as actors, Miéville as scriptwriter and artist collective The Kazimier as set-designers.
Inspired by the work of J.G. Ballard, our story looks to the bleak, man-made landscapes of the future and asks: What happens when virtual environments become indistinguishable from reality? Will our global culture allow us to choose where to live, and who will stop us? What will we do with knowledge that becomes freely available to all? With social platforms acting as camera, how will ‘selfies’ develop and what new forms of narcissism will thrive? What is it that we need to preserve, and what do we need to change? These questions are explored through intense visualisations of electronic communication, dystopian domestic interiors, and re-enactments of historical revolutionary moments.
In an era where dissidence and revolution continue to capture our headlines, are the modes of control in the hands of the people or have we unknowingly pushed them into the hands of an elite group as so many Sci Fi narratives once foretold?
Accompanying the exhibition will be The Personal Archive, a specially curated selection of clips from science fiction films and television programmes, books and memorabilia alongside homemade science fiction films submitted in response to an international open call by FACT.
Science Fiction: New Death is curated by Omar Kholeif (writer and curator) and Mike Stubbs (Director, FACT)
The Personal Archive is curated by John Dunning with the University of Liverpool’s Science Fiction collections from the University Library’s Special Collections & Archives (Europe’s largest catalogued collection of science fiction material)
Artists: Zach Blas, James Bridle, Close & Remote, Petra Gemeinboeck & Rob Saunders, Jae Rhim Lee, Mark Leckey, Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Laurence Payot, Sascha Pohflepp, Jon Rafman, Larissa Sansour, Dario Solman and Ryan Trecartin