In collaboration with CHAUFFEUR, curator Ashleigh Jones investigates the relationship between the self and identity in the digital age.

Derived from The Protean Self, an influential term in psychology coined by Dr. Robert Lifton, which is integral to understanding the human condition in our contemporary world. The exhibition subject matter describes the human identity as fluid, versatile and fragmented due to the ever-flowing consumption of digital media and its dominance over our everyday life.

The fluidity of an installation by Antoine Aguilar emanates light from the myriad of digital devices that accompany our daily lives. Art critic Frederic Emprou expresses the experience of wandering through the optical realm and its allegories, Antoine Aguilar enters a vast process of deconstruction, dismantling the generic idea of the screen and its analogy, within the framework of painting.

Traversing the principles of painting and sculpture, the works by Timo Kube deconstructs perception – a phenomenological concept that is spatially and temporally formed between spectator, object and image. Kube uses natural and industrial materials such as clay, concrete, rocks, foam, fabric, polyester and mirror in order to create objects. These objects become what the artist describes as ‘spatial devices’ offering a versatile experience on the surface and for the individual viewer.

With a background in computer science, Sydney painter Taylah Hasaballah intuitively seeks out patterns online through Instagram feeds, acquiring colours, shapes and moods coalesce. Her large abstract paintings are formed through
photomontage, a complex process of scanning, screenshots, drawing, re-drawing, enlarging, pixelating and stretching digital imagery. An allegory for formation over time, through one’s own environment which is also suggested in
Hasaballah’s choice of painting titles named after minerals such as Zircon, Anorthosite and Feldspar. In the same way these minerals develop intrinsically within your own natural environment, so might we with our avatar.

While continuing a similar interest in physicality, perception and distortion generated by an unrepeatable confluence of light, angle of incidence and theatre of silhouette embody Greedy’s strangely shaped and fragmented structures covered in raw linen and gradients of blue – a generic cyber colour commonly used for aesthetics’ in digital branding.

PROTEAN is concerned with the ways that digital technology claims our psychology, space and time for better or worse, and in turn, how the ‘self’ fragments and adapts to its inescapable presence.

Ashleigh Jones is currently undertaking Masters in Curatorship and Cultural Leadership at UNSW.
An additional essay, “ Protean” by Alanna Irwin will accompany this exhibition.