Your Time Is Not My Time

De Appel, Amsterdam
July 2015

Consisting of an exhibition, interventions online and a series of events, De Appel Amsterdam’s Your Time Is Not My Time is a project that attempts to deal with our vast and unwieldy information age. Tracking the influence of ‘hypercirculation and overconsumption’ on human behaviour, perception and selfhood, this group show measures the personal and sociocultural impact of our hyperactive, pro-suming, data-driven image economy, questioning the status of authorship, and debating the value of authenticity as copies endlessly proliferate around us.

Having already become a heavily recirculated set of curatorial concerns, this exhibition could have easily fallen flat. Instead, thanks to the strong selection of works and a flawless display methodology new conversations were opened and ideas revitalised. In the galleries, a sparing selection of predominantly digital film works were presented with cool aplomb; darkened walls illuminated only by an array of screens which here included monitors, flat screens, iPads and projectors. This low-lit, highly staged yet intimate space – clandestine, furtive, and almost festishised – cleverly exploited the easy seduction of the screen.

Contrasting this cool glossy finish, works including Wu Tsang’s Shape of a Right Statement and Andres Galeano’s, 10152349207537690_1377992960_n approach sentiment and deal with emotions in the technological age. The best of these, Metahaven’s City Rising set in a utopian near-future, asks where does love appear in our technologically augmented reality? Can human bonds flourish within an immaterial economy or are our unguarded emotions reserved for interactions with networked devices?

As if to underscore this emotional deficit, one by one works appear to emphasize the indifferent logic of the screen. Here however, the inherently cold nature of technology is not expressed as anxiety or dystopia, rather it is capitalised upon as a marvellous lack: a glossy, shimmering mediator that is untroubled by its complicity in our overstimulated present.

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